Hypoxic bronchodilation

R. C. Wetzel, C. J. Herold, Elias Zerhouni, J. L. Robotham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent advances in computed tomographic imaging provide a unique method to serially and directly visualize acute physiological responses in the lung. To directly investigate the airway response to hypoxia, high-resolution computed tomographic scans of the lungs of eight intact anesthetized minipigs were serially repeated before, during, and after ventilation with a hypoxic gas mixture (inspired fraction of O2 ≃ 0.07). This approach demonstrated an acute reversible 56 ± 8% (SE) dilation in large airways (>2 mm diam) and a 90 ± 15% dilation in small airways (2 tension. Of the airways studied, 70 of 76 dilated. Hypoxic bronchodilation may interact with hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in the fundamental physiological process of ventilation-perfusion matching in the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1206
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992



  • airway responses
  • ventilation-perfusion matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Wetzel, R. C., Herold, C. J., Zerhouni, E., & Robotham, J. L. (1992). Hypoxic bronchodilation. Journal of Applied Physiology, 73(3), 1202-1206.