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The eighth edition of Pulmonary Physiology has been thoroughly updated. Several new figures have been added and others revised to help students visualize concepts more clearly and learn the material more effectively. New references and clinical correlations have been added to the end of each chapter. It has been more than 30 years since Pulmonary Physiology was first published. The book is now older than most of the students reading it!

Perhaps the greatest pleasure associated with the first seven editions has been receiving the many favorable comments and helpful suggestions from students, readers, and colleagues, and I have used many of these suggestions in the preparation of this new edition.

This book is intended to be used both as an introductory text for beginning students and as a review for residents and fellows in such fields as internal medicine, anesthesiology, pediatrics, and pulmonary medicine. Students who have studied the text should be able to review for licensure and certification examinations by concentrating on the figures, key concepts, tables, and appendices, which summarize nearly all of the material in the book.

My goal in writing this book is to provide first-year medical students (as well as respiratory therapy, nursing, nurse-anesthesia, and other students) with a solid background on the aspects of pulmonary physiology essential for an understanding of clinical medicine. My approach is to encourage self-sufficiency not only in studying pulmonary physiology for the first time but also in understanding the basic concepts of pulmonary physiology well enough to apply them with confidence to future patients.

I believe that the ways to accomplish this are to inform the reader of the goals of each chapter with clearly stated learning objectives, to give detailed and complete explanations of physiologic mechanisms and demonstrate how they apply to pathologic states, and to give the reader a means of self-testing by providing clinical correlations, problems, and pulmonary function test data to interpret.

The challenge is to write a book that students can read without difficulty in the limited amount of time allocated to pulmonary physiology in the typical curriculum. The material must be presented in a way that discourages memorization without real comprehension, because only those students who understand the basic mechanisms are able to apply them to new situations. The result of this approach should be a book that covers the essentials of the respiratory system as concisely as possible yet raises no questions in students' minds without answering them. I hope that I have achieved these goals in writing this book.

I would like to thank the many people whose comments have helped me revise the various editions of the book, including my colleagues in respiratory physiology and pulmonary medicine, my colleagues at LSU Health Sciences Center and Tulane University School of Medicine, as well as my students and readers. For this edition I give special thanks to Drs. Andy Pellett and Lisa Harrison-Bernard of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Hershel Raff of the Medical College of Wisconsin. I would also like to thank everyone who has helped me prepare the manuscripts, illustrations, and proofs including my many editors at McGraw-Hill. For this edition, I would especially like to thank Betsy Giaimo, and my wife Elizabeth. This book is dedicated to the memory of Robert S. Alexander and of Jim Miller.

Michael G. Levitzky

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