We have studied the effect of hypoxia [inspired partial pressure of O2 (Po2) 50 mmHg] on the relationships among pulmonary blood flow, pulmonary arterial pressure, and fluid filtration rates in isolated blood-perfused pig lungs. Our results indicate that hypoxia constricted the vasculature in a manner that caused a parallel shift of the pressure-flow curve to higher pressures. During normoxia, filtration rate was zero at flows less than 1.5 1/min but increased with increases in blood flow above this level. In both cases the shape of this relationship was similar, but during hypoxia it was shifted to higher filtration rates. These findings can be interpreted using a parallel-channel Starling resistor model of the lung with a distribution of critical pressures. All the effects of hypoxia found in this study could be explained simply by an increase in critical pressure. According to the model, this increase in critical pressure during hypoxia caused a greater filtration rate because of an increase in the mean intravascular filtration pressure and an increase in the mean filtration coefficient.
- Copyright © 1981 the American Physiological Society