Effect of increasing flow on distribution of pulmonary capillary transit times

R. G. Presson, C. C. Hanger, P. S. Godbey, J. A. Graham, T. C. Lloyd, W. W. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


The complex morphology of the pulmonary capillary network causes capillary transit times to be dispersed about a mean. It is known that flow-induced decreases in mean capillary transit time are partially offset by capillary recruitment and distension, but the effect of these factors on the rest of the distribution of transit times is unknown. We have studied the relationship between blood flow, capillary recruitment, and the distribution of transit times in isolated canine lungs with videomicroscopy. Doubling baseline lobar blood flow recruited capillaries. All transit times in the distribution decreased, as did relative dispersion. Doubling flow again caused a further decrease in transit times, but neither capillary recruitment nor relative dispersion changed significantly. We conclude that capillary transit times become more homogeneous as lobar flow increases from low to intermediate levels. Further increases in flow across a fully recruited network are associated with decreases in transit times but not with more homogeneous capillary perfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1701-1711
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • digital image analysis
  • indicator- dilution
  • isolated canine lung
  • pulmonary capillary recruitment
  • pulmonary microcirculation
  • videomicroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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