Author(s): Conforti E, Fenoglio C, Bernocchi G, Bruschi O, Miserocchi GA
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Abstract Mild pulmonary interstitial edema was shown to cause fragmentation of interstitial matrix proteoglycans. We therefore studied compartmental fluid accumulation by light and electron microscopy on lungs of anesthetized rabbits fixed in situ by vascular perfusion after 0.5 ml.kg(-1).min(-1) iv saline infusion for 180 min causing approximately 6\% increase in lung weight. Morphometry showed that a relevant portion (44\%) of extravascular fluid is detected early in the alveolar septa, 85\% of this fluid accumulating in the thick portion of the air-blood barrier. The arithmetic mean thickness of the barrier increased in interstitial edema from 1.06 +/- 0.05 (SE) to 1.33 +/- 0.06 microm. The harmonic mean thickness increased from 0.6 +/- 0.03 to 0.86 +/- 0.07 microm, mostly due to thickening of the thin portion causing an increase in gas diffusion resistance. Despite some structural damage, the air-blood barrier displays a relatively high structural resistance providing a safety factor against the development of severe edema. It is suggested that the increase in extra-alveolar perivascular space occurs as a consequence of fluid accumulation in the air-blood barrier.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology