Letter | Published:

A New Method for Studying the Functioning of the Lungs


IN 1953 a gas in an aqueous solution, injected intravenously was used for the first time in studying the functioning of the lungs1. It was later shown that all acetylene so injected was eliminated rapidly through the lungs. About 40 per cent was eliminated in the first minute by a healthy person. If the concentration of acetylene in the expired air was registered continuously by means of a special infra-red spectro-photometric method a direct determination of the interval between the commencement of the injection and the initial appearance of acetylene in the expired air could be made. This is probably the most accurate method for measuring the time of circulation from the site of the injection to the lungs. The acetylene elimination capacity was specially low in the presence of extensive pulmonary fibrosis; elimination of the gas was also retarded during an asthmatic attack.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Colldahl, H., Acta allergologica, Suppl. III, 61 (1953).

  2. 2

    Colldahl, H., Third Europ. Congr. of allergy, Firenze 1956 (II Pensiero Scientifico, Roma).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.