Respiratory minute volume (or minute ventilation) is the volume of gas inhaled (inhaled minute volume) or exhaled (exhaled minute volume) from a person's lungs in one minute. It is an important parameter in respiratory medicine due to its relationship with blood carbon dioxide levels. It can be measured with devices such as a Wright respirometer, or can be calculated from other known respiratory parameters. Note that although its name implies that it is a volume, minute volume is actually a flow (it represents a volume change over time).

Determination of minute volume[]

Minute volume can either be measured directly or calculated from other known parameters.

Measurement of minute volume[]

Minute volume is the amount of gas inhaled or exhaled from a person's lungs in one minute. It can be measured by a Wright respirometer or other device capable of cumulatively measuring gas flow, such as mechanical ventilators.

Calculation of minute volume[]

If both tidal volume (VT) and respiratory rate (ƒ or RR) are known, minute volume can calculated by multiplying the two values. Must take into account dead space![1]


  1. Zuurbier, M., Hoek, G., van den Hazel, P., Brunekreef, B. (2009). "Minute ventilation of cyclists, car and bus passengers: an experimental study.". Environmental Health 8 (48).