Journal of Applied Physiology

Subcutaneous tissue gas space pressure during superficial isobaric counterdiffusion

J. R. Cowley, C. Allegra, C. J. Lambertsen


Changes in subcutaneous tissue pressure caused by N2O-He, 1-ATA isobaric counterdiffusion gas phase development were measured. Only the ears of New Zealand White rabbits were subjected to counterdiffusion. The rabbits breathed a mixture of 80% N2O-20% O2 while their ears alone were surrounded by He and the rest of their bodies continued to be surrounded by air. Subcutaneous pressure changes were transmitted to the transducer-recorded system via a fluid-filled subcutaneous needle. When the gas phase developed in subcutaneous tissue, pressure rose and a maximum pressure (Pmax) was reached. Pmax in the counterdiffused ear was 48 +/- 10 (SD) Torr, and mean time to reach Pmax was 75 +/- 10 (SD) min. The findings are discussed in relation to the pathological processes of isobaric inert gas counterdiffusion.