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Hemorrhage progressively disturbs interalveolar perfusion in the lungs of rats. Shock 2008 Mar;29(3):410-6 PMID: 17704732

Pubmed ID



Acute hemorrhage is often followed by devastating lung injury. However, why blood loss should lead to lung injury is not known. One possibility is that hemorrhage rapidly disturbs the distribution of microvascular perfusion at the alveolar level, which may be a triggering event for subsequent injury. We showed previously that a 30% blood loss in rats caused significant maldistribution of interalveolar perfusion within 45 min (J Trauma 60:158, 2006). In this report, we describe results of further exploration of this phenomenon. We wanted to know if perfusion distribution was disturbed at 15 min, when vascular pressures were significantly reduced by the blood loss, compared with those at 45 min, when the pressures had returned substantially toward normal. We hemorrhaged rats by removing 30% of their blood volume. We quantified interalveolar perfusion distribution by statistically analyzing the trapping patterns of 4-microm-diameter fluorescent latex particles infused into the pulmonary circulation 15 (red particles) and 45 min (green particles) after blood removal. We used confocal fluorescence microscopy to digitally image the trapping patterns in sections of the air-dried lungs and used pattern analysis to quantify the patterns in tissue image volumes that ranged from 1,300 alveoli to less than 1 alveolus. LogDI, a measure of perfusion maldistribution, increased from 1.00 +/- 0.15 at 15 min after blood loss to 1.62 +/- 0.24 at 45 min (P < 0.001). These values were 0.86 +/- 0.22 (15 min) and 1.12 +/- 0.24 (45 min) in control rats (P = 0.03). Hemorrhage caused the green (45 min)-to-red (15 min) particle distance to decrease from 35.9 +/- 6.5 to 28.0 +/- 5.1 microm (P = 0.024) and the red-to-green particle distance to remain unchanged (30.2 +/- 5.7 microm [red]; 31.5 +/- 10.0 microm [green] [n.s.]). We conclude that hemorrhage caused a progressive increase in interalveolar perfusion maldistribution over 45 min that did not correspond to reduced arterial pressures or altered blood gases. Our particle distance measurements led us to further conclude that this maldistribution occurred in areas that were perfused at 15 min rather than in previously unperfused areas .

Author List

Conhaim RL, Kluesner KA, Watson KE, Munoz-del-Rio A, Heisey DM, Harms BA


Karri A. Adamson MD Assistant Professor in the Plastic Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-39449120274   8 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Blood Pressure
Blood Volume
Fluorescent Dyes
Microscopy, Confocal
Pulmonary Alveoli
Pulmonary Circulation
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
jenkins-FCD Prod-353 9ccd8489072cb19f5b9f808bb23ed672c582f41e