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compliance (kom-plI´ans)

1. A measure of the distensibility of a chamber expressed as a change in volume per unit change in pressure. 2. The consistency and accuracy with which a patient follows the regimen prescribed by a physician or other health professional. Cf. adherence (2) , maintenance. 3. A measure of the ease with which a structure or substance may be deformed. In medicine and physiology, usually a measure of the ease with which a hollow viscus (e.g., lung, urinary bladder, gallbladder) may be distended, i.e., the volume change resulting from the application of a unit pressure differential between the inside and outside of the viscus; the reciprocal of elastance. [M.E. fr. O. Fr., fr. L. compleo, to fulfill]
bladder c. relationship of volume to pressure; can be calculated from a cytometrogram's pressure volume curve.c. of bladder;
c. of bladder bladder c
detrusor c. change in volume of bladder for a given change in pressure.
dynamic c. of lung the value obtained when lung c. is estimated during breathing by dividing the tidal volume by the difference in instantaneous transpulmonary pressures at the ends of the respiratory excursions, when flow in the airway is momentarily zero; this value deviates markedly from static c. in patients in whom resistances and compliances are not uniform throughout the lung (i.e., uneven time constants).
c. of heart the reciprocal of passive or diastolic stiffness of the ventricle of the heart, most commonly of the left ventricle; one may distinguish between c. of the muscle and c. of the supportive structures, although ordinarily both are considered together (chamber c.); a hypertrophied or scarred heart will manifest a stiff wall, i.e., decreased c.
specific c. 1. the c. of a structure divided by its initial volume; 2. more specifically for the lungs, the c. divided by the functional residual capacity.
static c. the value obtained when c. is measured at true equilibrium, i.e., in the absence of any motion.
thoracic c. that portion of total ventilatory c. ascribable to c. of the thoracic cage.
ventilatory c. the sum of dynamic c. of the lung and thoracic c.


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