Effects of tidal volume and respiratory frequency on lung lymph flow

David B. Pearse, Robert M. Searcy, Wayne Mitzner, Solbert Permutt, J. T. Sylvester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ventilation (V̇) increases lung lymph flow (Q̇L), but the separate effects of tidal volume (VT) and frequency (f) and the role of V̇-induced changes in edema formation are poorly understood. An isolated, in situ sheep lung preparation was used to examine these effects. In eight sheep with f = 10 min-1, results obtained during 30-min periods with VT = 5 or 20 ml/kg were compared with values obtained during bracketed 30-min control periods (VT = 12.5 ml/kg). Eight other sheep with constant VT (12.5 ml/kg) were studied at f = 5 or 20 min-1 and compared with f = 10 min-1. Three additional groups of six sheep were perfused for 100 min with control V̇ (10 ml/kg, 10 min-1). VT was then kept constant or changed to 20 or 3 ml/kg during a second 100-min period. Increases in VT or f increased Q̇L and vice versa, without corresponding effects on the rate of edema formation. For the same change in V̇, changing VT had a greater effect on Q̇L than changing f. The change in Q̇L caused by an increase in VT was significantly greater after the accumulation of interstitial edema. The change in Q̇L caused by a sustained increase in VT was transient and did not correlate with the rate of edema formation, suggesting that V̇ altered Q̇L through direct mechanical effects on edema-filled compartments and lymphatic vessels rather than through V̇-induced changes in fluid filtration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-563
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Edema clearance
  • Lung fluid balance
  • Lung interstitial space
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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