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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 ?
Correlations with physiology: Total lung capacity (TLC), forced vital capacity (FVC), arterial blood oxygen saturation (Sa[O.sub.2]), diffusing capacity of the lung (DLco), forced expiratory volume in 1 sec ([FEV.sub.1]), and change in [VCO.sub.2] with exercise ([DELTA][VCO.sub.2]) showed significant negative correlation with disease extent score, assessed on HRCT (Table III).
[SIII.sub.N2]: phase III slope of the nitrogen single-breath washout; FVC: forced vital capacity; [FEV.sub.1] forced expiratory volume in 1 s; DLco: diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide; TLC: total lung capacity; RV: residual volume; MIP: maximal inspiratory pressure; MEP: maximal expiratory pressure; CV-VC: closing volume-vital capacity; 6MWD: 6min walking distance; Sp[O.sub.2]: peripheral oxygen saturation.
TV = tidal volume; TLC = total lung capacity. * Modified from Beydon et al.[4] and Koegelenberg et al.[5] Table 4.
Altayeh, "Low inspiratory capacity to total lung capacity ratio is a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation," American Journal of the Medical Sciences, vol.
The mean percent predicted pulmonary function parameters were as follows: FEV1 69.12 [+ or -] 16.8%; FVC 81.7 [+ or -] 14.9%; Total lung capacity 101.01 [+ or -] 10.03%; Residual volume 147.07 [+ or -] 29.35%; and diffusion 117.2 [+ or -] 21.92%.
They increase the residual volume within the lung, and the residual volume to total lung capacity ratio, therefore they worsen the mechanical disadvantage of the respiratory muscles.6 Symptoms include decreased exercise tolerance and dyspnoea.
The sample consisted of 1,357 pulmonary function test results and 1,129 total lung capacity measurements.
When pulmonary function was measured by traditional methods, like spirometry and body plethysmography, swimmers presented higher forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1.0) as well as larger vital capacity (VC), total lung capacity (TLC), inspiratory capacity (IC), and functional residual capacity (FRC) (Armour et al., 1993; Clanton et al., 1987; Cordain et al., 1990; Courteix et al., 1997; Doherty and Dimitriou, 1997).
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%).
Hypoxemia, hypercarbia, low total lung capacity, and DLCO were all related to obesity, hypoventilation, and sleep disorders, she noted.
All patients underwent spirometry and whole-body plethysmography (MasterScreen[R] Body, CareFusion, Hochberg, Germany) yielding the following parameters: vital capacity (VC), [FEV.sub.1], Tiffeneau index ([FEV.sub.1]%VC), residual volume (RV), total lung capacity (TLC), ratio of residual volume to TLC (RV%TLC), and specific total airway resistance ([sR.sub.tot]).
There is the release of lung surfactant [11] when lungs have been stretched near to total lung capacity and prostaglandins into alveolar spaces, [12] which increase lung compliance and decreases bronchial smooth muscle tone, respectively.

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