Measurement of airway wall blood flow in sheep by laser-Doppler flowmetry: Interpretation and problems

D. J. Godden, E. M. Wagner, P. D. Pare, W. Mitzner, E. M. Baile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We have used laser-Doppler flowmetry (LDF), a technique that detects movement of erythrocytes, to measure tracheal and bronchial wall blood flow in anesthetized open-chest sheep. LDF derives continuous measurements noninvasively, although fiber-optic bronchoscopy is necessary to introduce the LDF probe into the airways. The response of the LDF flow signals at four regions of the airway walls to varying bronchial arterial flow rates was examined in both live and dead sheep by cannulation and subsequent perfusion of the common bronchial artery at different flow rates by use of a roller pump. In the live sheep, variations in bronchial arterial blood flow resulted in variations in LDF signals in the principal bronchus and in lobar and segmental bronchi but not in the trachea. In the dead sheep, variations in bronchial arterial blood flow resulted in variations in LDF signals in all four regions. Within regions, the average response of the LDF signals to varying bronchial blood flow rates was approximately linear in both live and dead sheep, but considerable site-to-site variation in response was observed. In the live sheep, significant LDF signals were observed when the bronchial arterial flow was set to zero and when the bronchial artery was perfused with dextran solution, which would in theory be expected to produce no LDF signal. A small LDF signal was also detected under zero flow conditions in the dead sheep. These observations suggest that the LDF technique, in addition to detecting blood flow from the bronchial artery, also detects background noise and/or collateral circulation. The residual signal at zero flow and after death and the site-to-site variability represent major problems that preclude accurate measurement of changes in airway blood flow with this technique. These data suggest that in its present form LDF will not prove useful in the measurement of airway wall blood flow during bronchoscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume70
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bronchial and tracheal blood flow
  • bronchial artery perfusion
  • bronchoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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