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Minute Volume Calculator
Minute Volume is the volume of air moved into (inhaled) or out of (exhaled) the lungs per unit time (usually per minute). Minute volume is also referred to as minute ventilation or respiratory minute volume. Minute volume is calculated by multiplying the number of respiratory cycles per minute (typically about 12 breaths per minute) by the volume of gas inhaled or exhaled per respiratory cycle (referred to as tidal volume, which is typically about 500 mL in males and 400 mL in females). Therefore, for an average healthy adult female at rest, minute volume is 4,800 mL/min. For an average healthy adult male at rest, minute volume is 6,000 mL/min.
Minute volume has important implications for healthy and abnormal states. Proper ventilation of the lungs is important for delivering sufficient amounts of O2 to gas exchange surfaces within the lungs (respiratory bronchioles and alveoli), and removing CO2 from the lungs to be released into the atmosphere. It is important to note that the entire of volume of air moved into the lungs during each inhalation does not come into direct contact with alveoli. Some volume of gas remains in what is referred to as the conducting zone of the respiratory system, which includes the oral and nasal passages, pharynx, glottis, trachea, primary bronchi, smaller bronchioles, and terminal bronchioles. The air within these airway conduits cannot participate in gas exchange and, therefore, the conducting zone is commonly referred to as the dead anatomical space (DAS). In a healthy adult human, the volume of air contained within the dead anatomical space is about 150 mL. Thus, DAS must be subtracted from tidal volume to determine the amount of air that is in contact with the respiratory zone of the lungs (respiratory bronchioles and alveoli). Therefore, alveolar minute volume is used to determine the total volume of air per unit time that is available for gas exchange. Alveolar minute volume is calculated by multiplying the number of breaths per minute by the difference between tidal volume and dead anatomical space. See our Alveolar Minute Volume Calculator.
Minute volume equation

Minute volume equation

  • Minute Volume (MV) is the volume of air moved into or out of the lungs per unit time (usually per minute). Therefore, minute volume (MV) represents the amount of air inhaled or exhaled per unit time. Minute volume is also referred to as minute ventilation or respiratory minute volume.
  • Respiratory Rate (R) or breathing rate is the number of respiratory cycles (or breaths) per unit time. It is generally reported as breaths per minute. A full respiratory cycle represents inhalation (inspiration) followed by exhalation (expiration). In adult humans at rest, respiratory rate is about 12 breaths per minute.
  • Tidal Volume (TV) is the volume of air moved into the lungs during inspiration (or inhalation) or the volume of air moved out of the lungs during expiration (or exhalation). At rest, it is about 500 mL for an adult male and about 400 mL for an adult female.
Minute volume calculator
Each calculator cell shown below corresponds to a term in the formula presented above. Enter appropriate values in all cells except the one you wish to calculate. Therefore, at least two cells must have values, and no more than one cell may be blank. The value of the blank cell will be calculated based on the other values entered. After a calculation is performed, the calculated cell will be highlighted and subsequent calculations will calculate the value of the highlighted cell (with no requirement to have a blank cell). However, a blank cell has priority over a highlighted cell.
Breathing rate breaths/minute
per
Tidal volume mL/breath
per
Minute volume mL/minute
per
        






Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2024