Effects of plasmapheresis and of hypoproteinemia on lung liquid conductance in awake sheep.
The Starling equation, which describes net transvascular liquid flow, does not include the possibility that a reduction in plasma protein concentration may have a direct effect on lung liquid conductance or microvascular protein permeability. Nevertheless, both effects have been reported. Since these results were not predictable, we wondered whether the changes were due to the decrease in plasma protein concentration or to the process by which protein depletion was accomplished (batch plasmapheresis which involves considerable handling of blood). To separate these factors, we did control (sham) and protein removal plasmapheresis in awake sheep by two plasmapheresis methods (batch and continuous-flow). We monitored pulmonary hemodynamics, measured lung lymph flow, and determined protein concentrations in lymph and plasma. We calculated or measured the protein osmotic pressures of plasma and lymph. After control plasmapheresis, lymph flow increased and lymph:plasma protein concentration decreased but had returned to baseline levels by 4 hours. After protein removal plasmapheresis, the changes persisted for 24 hours. However, lung microvascular conductance (filtration coefficient) was not increased, except during the first 4-hour period. The changes in lymph flow and protein concentration ratio are explained using a simple two-pore model. We conclude that, over the range studied, hypoproteinemia does not increase lung microvascular liquid conductance or protein permeability.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association