With an isolated perfused canine lung, the compliance of pulmonary circulation was measured and partitioned into components corresponding to alveolar and extra-alveolar compartments. When the lungs were in zone 3, changes in outflow pressure (ΔPo) affected all portions of the vasculature causing a change in lung blood volume (ΔV). Thus the ratio ΔV/ΔPo in zone 3 represented the compliance of the entire pulmonary circulation (Cp) plus that of the left atrium (Cla). When the lungs were in zone 2, changes in Po affected only the extra-alveolar vessels that were downstream from the site of critical closure in the alveolar vessels. Thus the ratio ΔV/ΔPo with forward flow in zone 2 represented the compliance of the venous extra-alveolar vessels (Cv) plus Cla. With reverse flow zone 2, ΔV/ΔPo represented the compliance of the arterial extra-alveolar vessels (Ca). The compliance of the alveolar compartment (Calv) was calculated from the difference between Cp and the sum of Ca + Cv. When Po was 6-11 mmHg, Cp was 0.393 ± 0.0380 (SE)ml·mmHg-1·kg-1 with forward perfusion and 0.263 ± 0.0206 (SE) ml·mmHg-1·kg-1 with reverse perfusion. Calv was 79 and 68% of Cp with forward and reverse perfusion, respectively. When Po was raised to 16-21 mmHg, Cp decreased to 0.225 ± 0.0235 (SE) ml·mmHg-1·kg-1 and 0.183 ± 0.0133 (SE) ml·mmHg-1·kg-1 with forward and reverse perfusion, respectively. Calv also decreased but remained the largest contributor to Cp. We conclude that the major site of pulmonary vascular compliance in the canine lung is the alveolar compartment, with minor contributions from the arterial and venous extra-alveolar segments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)