Chronic unilateral pulmonary arterial ligation has been touted as a model of arteriopathy resulting in a tremendous increase in anastomotic bronchial flow (Qbr) via collaterals. To investigate its effects on the pulmonary vasculature, we ligated the left main pulmonary artery of seven dogs and 120 days later pump perfused their left lower lobes (LLL) via a cannula in the pulmonary artery at pulmonary arterial flow (Qpa) of 250 ml/min. We measured Qbr (330 ml/min) and compared LLL with control contralateral right lower lobes (RLL) and three LLL from normal dogs. Pressure-flow (P-Q) curves were obtained by varying Qpa. With arterial and venous occlusion we measured total, arterial, venous, and middle segment resistances under baseline conditions, after serotonin and histamine, either with or without Qpa and with antegrade and retrograde Qbr. Light microscopy was done postmortem. The slope of the P-Q curve was 33.4 mmHg.l-1.min in the ligated lobes compared with 15.9 in the controls, attributable by the occlusion technique mainly to a rise in arterial resistance (22.4 mmHg.l-1.min compared with 7.4 in the controls) with a small rise in venous resistance. This was explained by significant arterial medial muscle thickening and some loss of LLL volume. The arterial segment was markedly hypersensitive to serotonin, and the venous segment was mildly hypersensitive to histamine compared with controls. The occlusion data also enabled us to model the point of entry of the bronchial circulation into the pulmonary circuit at the precapillary level and to calculate bronchial vascular resistance. We conclude that postobstructive vasculopathy substantially raises pulmonary vascular resistance, mainly upstream from the site of entry of the bronchial circulation. The role of the latter may be to keep it from rising excessively in the segments it perfuses, i.e., the middle and venous ones.
- Copyright © 1990 the American Physiological Society