Fate of air emboli in the pulmonary circulation

R. G. Presson, K. R. Kirk, K. A. Haselby, J. H. Linehan, S. Zaleski, W. W. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The lung serves an important nonrespiratory function by trapping and excreting venous air emboli. The site of trapping and the mechanism of excretion, however, are uncertain. To observe the behavior of bubbles in the pulmonary circulation, we injected venous air emboli into anaesthetized dogs and videotaped their elimination from the pulmonary microcirculation by using in vivo microscopy. Small intravenous bubbles lodged exclusively in pulmonary arterioles and were eliminated from that site. To determine whether the gas was dissolving into nearby blood and then was carried to the capillaries for excretion, the rate of bubble radius change was measured during nonperfused conditions produced by balloon occlusion of lobar blood flow and compared with perfused and nonperfused conditions. Bubble volume decreased at the same rate during perfused and nonperfused conditions and thus was independent of regional blood flow. Molecular diffusion of gas directly across the arteriolar wall into alveolar spaces was the most likely mechanism of elimination because calculations based on the Fick equation for molecular diffusion predict an elimination rate nearly identical with those observed experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1898-1902
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume67
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989

Fingerprint

Pulmonary Circulation
Embolism
Gases
Air
Balloon Occlusion
Lung
Regional Blood Flow
Arterioles
Microcirculation
Dogs
Intravital Microscopy
Pulmonary Elimination

Keywords

  • in vivo microscopy
  • molecular diffusion
  • precapillary gas exchange
  • Pulmonary air embolism
  • surface tension
  • venous air embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Presson, R. G., Kirk, K. R., Haselby, K. A., Linehan, J. H., Zaleski, S., & Wagner, W. W. (1989). Fate of air emboli in the pulmonary circulation. Journal of Applied Physiology, 67(5), 1898-1902.

Fate of air emboli in the pulmonary circulation. / Presson, R. G.; Kirk, K. R.; Haselby, K. A.; Linehan, J. H.; Zaleski, S.; Wagner, W. W.

In: Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 67, No. 5, 01.12.1989, p. 1898-1902.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Presson, RG, Kirk, KR, Haselby, KA, Linehan, JH, Zaleski, S & Wagner, WW 1989, 'Fate of air emboli in the pulmonary circulation', Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 67, no. 5, pp. 1898-1902.
Presson RG, Kirk KR, Haselby KA, Linehan JH, Zaleski S, Wagner WW. Fate of air emboli in the pulmonary circulation. Journal of Applied Physiology. 1989 Dec 1;67(5):1898-1902.
Presson, R. G. ; Kirk, K. R. ; Haselby, K. A. ; Linehan, J. H. ; Zaleski, S. ; Wagner, W. W. / Fate of air emboli in the pulmonary circulation. In: Journal of Applied Physiology. 1989 ; Vol. 67, No. 5. pp. 1898-1902.
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