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The ability, capability, or fitness to do something; a legal right, power, or competency to perform some act. An ability to comprehend both the nature and consequences of one's acts.

Capacity relates to soundness of mind and to an intelligent understanding and perception of one's actions. It is the power either to create or to enter into a legal relation under the same conditions or circumstances as a person of sound mind or normal intelligence would have the power to create or to enter.

A person of normal intelligence and sound mind has the capacity to dispose of his or her property by will as he or she sees fit.

A capacity defense is used in both criminal and civil actions to describe a lack of fundamental ability to be accountable for one's action that nullifies the element of intent when intent is essential to the action, thereby relieving a person of responsibility for it.

An individual under duress lacks the capacity to contract; a child under the age of seven accused of committing a crime lacks criminal capacity.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the ability of a person to effect a legal transaction. The paradigm natural person of full age and sound mind usually has full capacity. Others face limitations from time to time and system to system, such as, for example, the young, the mentally ill and corporations.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CAPACITY. This word, in the law sense, denotes some ability, power, qualification, or competency of persons, natural, or artificial, for the performance of civil acts, depending on their state or condition, as defined or fixed by law; as, the capacity to devise, to bequeath, to grant or convey lands; to take; or to take. and hold lands to make a contract, and the like. 2 Com. Dig. 294; Dane's Abr. h.t.
     2. The constitution requires that the president, senators, and representatives should have attained certain ages; and in the case of the senators and representatives, that out these they have no capacity to serve in these offices.
     3. All laws which regulate the capacity of persons to contract, are considered personal laws; such are the laws which relate to minority and majority; to the powers of guardians or parents, or the disabilities of coverture. The law of the domicil generally governs in cases of this kind. Burge. on Sureties, 89.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the participants, 41% (95% CI, 29-56) had pulmonary disorders, of which the most prevalent were obstructive disorders (49%), followed by obstructive disorder with reduced forced vital capacity disorders (46%), and restrictive disorders (5%).
FEF 25% to 75% is the measurement of the forced vital capacity, excluding the first 25% and the last 25% of the expiratory phase (Patra, 2012).
In order to measure forced vital capacity LUNG TEST 1000 spirometr which is a static and modifier system designed for pulmonary function test, was applied.
Significant but weak correlations were found between previous Bikram yoga experience and % predicted forced vital capacity (r = 0.38, P < 0.05) and between Bikram yoga experience and [FEV.sub.1] (r = 0.37, P < 0.05).
When performing spirometry, it is very useful to obtain a flow volume loop as well as SVC, because if the patient is obstructed, the SVC should be sigficantly larger than the forced vital capacity. If there is significant obstruction and the SVC is comparable to the FVC, than the inspiratory effort on the FVC was not sufficient.
Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second ([FEV.sub.1]), forced expiratory flow at 50 and 75 per cent of the vital capacity (FEF 50 and 75%), forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75 per cent of the vital capacity ([FEF.sub.25-75]) total lung capacity (TLC) and residual volume (RV) data were obtained using constant volume variable pressure body plethysmograph (PK Morgan, Chatham, Kent, UK).
The refinements to the two Phase 3 trials in the CAPACITY program follow InterMune's review of two new and unique data sets related to: 1) changes in forced vital capacity (FVC) and other important measures of lung function over time in the placebo group of the recently un-blinded INSPIRE trial and 2) the effect of pirfenidone on vital capacity (VC) and other lung function parameters in the Phase 3 study of pirfenidone in IPF recently concluded by Shionogi & Co.
The Forced Vital Capacity is not exactly the same as the Vital Capacity, because one is measured when the air is being forcibly inhaled and exhaled, and the other is measured when the air is inhaled and exhaled at normal breathing speeds.
The losses in forced vital capacity were similar but of a smaller magnitude.
In addition to the primary ALSFRS-R endpoint, investigators will assess the following secondary outcomes: Safety and Tolerability; Change in Forced Vital Capacity (FVC, percent predicted); Timed Get Up and Go Test (TGUG); Quality of Life; as well as Survival.
Pulmonary function test results were as follows: forced vital capacity (FVC), 3.46 L (91%); forced expiratory volume in 1 sec ([FEV.sub.1]), 2.31 L (74%); [FEV.sub.1]:FVC ratio, 67; total lung capacity, 5.27 L (95%); residual volume, 1.57 L (91%); diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide, 23.1 mL/mmHg/min (81%); and diffusion capacity for CO corrected for total lung capacity by single breath, 4.61 mL/mmHg/L (87%).
(3) The researchers concluded that the insertion and maintenance of the bronchoscope in the airways had no effect on pulmonary function, but the application of topical lidocaine did cause significant decreases in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FE[V.sub.1]), forced vital capacity, peak expiratory flow, and peak inspiratory flow.