Hypoxic bronchodilation

R. C. Wetzel, C. J. Herold, E. A. Zerhouni, J. L. Robotham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Recent advances in computed tomographic imaging provide a unique method to serially and directly visualize acute physiological responses in the lung. To directly investigate the airway response to hypoxia, high-resolution computed tomographic scans of the lungs of eight intact anesthetized minipigs were serially repeated before, during, and after ventilation with a hypoxic gas mixture (inspired fraction of O2 ≃ 0.07). This approach demonstrated an acute reversible 56 ± 8% (SE) dilation in large airways (>2 mm diam) and a 90 ± 15% dilation in small airways (<1.99 mm diam) with decreased inspired O2 tension. Of the airways studied, 70 of 76 dilated. Hypoxic bronchodilation may interact with hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in the fundamental physiological process of ventilation-perfusion matching in the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1206
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992


  • airway responses
  • ventilation-perfusion matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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