Author(s): Wallen LD, Perry SF, Alston JT, Maloney JE
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Abstract Pulmonary hypoplasia has been associated with absent or hypoplastic pulmonary artery in four cases in humans. Despite these reports, the effects of decreased pulmonary arterial flow on fetal lung growth have not been adequately studied. This study defines the effects of left pulmonary artery (LPA) ligation on fetal lung growth in sheep by comparing morphometrically determined pulmonary volumes from LPA-ligated, sham-operated, and un-operated control fetuses. LPA ligation (n = 5) or sham operation (n = 4) was performed at 105- to 114-d gestation. lungs were intratracheally fixed for light microscopy. At 112 d (n = 4) and at 140 d (n = 4), unoperated control fetuses were similarly delivered. Absolute pulmonary volumes were then measured using standard stereologic methods. Normal growth of the left lung from 112 to 140 d resulted in significant increases in wet and dry wt, displacement volume, and volumes of future airspace and capillary contents. LPA ligation caused significant decreases in left lung wet and dry wt, displacement volume, and in absolute volumes of fine nonparenchymal, future airspace, parenchymal tissue, and capillary contents compared to sham-operated and 140-d controls. Parenchymal tissue volume was also less than in 112-d controls. In addition, lung wt, displacement volume, and future airspace volume were significantly decreased in sham-operated fetuses compared to 140-d controls. The effects of LPA ligation on bronchial collateral circulation and factors known to affect lung growth (i.e. lung fluid volume) remain to be determined. Clearly, during the canalicular and alveolar stage of fetal lung development, pulmonary arterial flow is necessary for normal lung growth.
This article was published in Pediatr Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy