We tested the hypothesis that breathing would be regulated in response to right ventricular and pulmonary arterial pressure changes when secondary events are controlled. Dogs were anesthetized, thoracotomies were performed, and cardiopulmonary bypass perfusion was established. Lungs were inflated to sustained pressures. The left diaphragmatic lobe was retrogradely cannulated and all other lobar arteries were ligated, forming a pulmonary arterial sac that drained to the oxygenator from the cannula and filled from systemic venous return by the beating right ventricle. Right atrial pressure was adjusted to produce sac flows of approximately 400 ml/min. We recorded systemic and pulmonary arterial pressures, sac flow, and the integrated diaphragm electromyogram (DEMG). Resistive loads were imposed on sac outflow by adjusting a clamp. Loaded mean pulmonary arterial pressures ranged from 27 to 70 Torr. Loading increased respiratory frequency without affecting peak DEMG amplitude. Responses did not occur after vagotomy. Effects were quantitatively modest: pressurization to approximately 50 Torr increased frequency approximately 3.4 breaths/min (22%). The magnitude of change was insufficient to explain in intact dogs the ventilatory responses that have been attributed to this reflexogenic unit.
- Copyright © 1984 the American Physiological Society