Increased intrinsic pumping of intestinal lymphatics following hemorrhage in anesthetized sheep.
The return of fluid and protein to the bloodstream by the lymphatic circulation may play an important role in reconstituting intravascular volume following hemorrhage. In this study, we have defined the lymph-flow changes that occur in cannulated mesenteric lymphatics following a 25% blood loss in anesthetized sheep and investigated the effects of hemorrhage on the intrinsic contractile activity (lymph pumping) of these vessels in vivo using a new model system. The removal of 25% of the calculated blood volume resulted in increases in lymph flow over a 6-hour period, with peak changes to 3.5 times the prebleed levels. Systemic arterial pressures dropped to roughly 50% of control values immediately following the bleed and returned to control in 3 hours. To directly assess the effects of hemorrhage on lymphatic pumping, a segment of intestinal lymphatic was isolated from all lymph input and supplied with fluid from a reservoir. While there was no net pressure driving fluid through the duct, a transmural distending pressure was applied to the vessel, which stimulated resting lymphatic contractions and fluid pumping. A 25% blood loss resulted in increased activity of the lymph pump; up to 6 times more fluid was propelled through this "isolated" vessel in vivo than in similar preparations in sheep that were not bled (p less than 0.01). Measurements of fluid pulse pressures in this preparation indicated increased pumping frequency and/or force after hemorrhage compared with prebleed levels. We conclude that lymphatic contractile activity is stimulated after a blood loss independent of changes in lymph formation and speculate that this mechanism may play an important role in the reexpansion of the vascular space.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association