Critical closure in the canine pulmonary vasculature.
The vascular pressure-flow (P-Q) relationships in zone II (West et al.) were studied in isolated canine left lower lobes, in order to characterize the total resistance in the pulmonary vascular bed with respect to incremental or flow resistance and critical closure. At each of five levels of static lung inflation, the P-Q relationship was curvilinear at low flow and rectilinear at higher flows. The slope of the linear portion was not significantly different at alveolar pressures (PA) = 5, 7, or 9 cm H2O, but decreased significantly at PA = 11 and 15 cm H2O ((P less than 0.05), indicating an increase in flow resistance. The pulmonary artery pressure (Ppa) fell to the same value at zero flow regardless of inflation level [10.1 +/- 1.0 (SD) cm H2O at PA = 5 cm H2O to 10.9 +/- 2.7 (SD) at PA = 15 cm H2O]. The Ppa intercept (Ppai), extrapolated from the linear portion of the P-Q curve and representing the average closing pressure for the vascular bed, increased from 16.0 +/- 1.8 (SD) cm H2O at PA = 5.0 to 26.5 +/- 4.4 (SD) cm H2O at PA = 15 (P less than 0.05) in a direct one-to-one relationship with the increase in PA. Since this results in a constant transmural gradient at the alveolar vessel level, these vessels must be the major fraction which undergo critical closure. Operationally defined vascular compliance, determined from the slope of a simultaneously obtained pressure-volume (P-V) curve, decreased significantly from 1.51 +/- 0.62 (SD) ml/cm H2O at PA = 5.0 H2O to 0.87 +/- 0.27 ml/cm H2O at PA = 15 cm H2O (P less than 0.05).
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association