Pulmonary vascular reactivity and hemodynamic changes in elastase-induced emphysema in hamsters

C. M. Tseng, S. Qian, W. Mitzner

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3 Scopus citations


Changes in pulmonary hemodynamics and vascular reactivity in emphysematous hamsters were studied in an isolated lung preparation perfused at constant flow with blood and 3% dextran. Hamsters were treated with intratracheal porcine pancreatic elastase at 70 days of age, and experimental studies were conducted at 1, 3, and 8 mo after treatment. Baseline pulmonary arterial pressure in elastase-treated lungs was increased compared with saline-treated control lungs 1 mo after treatment, but this increase did not progress at 3 and 8 mo. Increases in pulmonary arterial pressure in elastase-treated lungs were temporally correlated with the morphological development of emphysema and right ventricular hypertrophy; both of these were evident at 1 mo after treatment and showed little change thereafter. Pressor responses to hypoxia and angiotensin II were not different between elastase-treated and control lungs at 1 and 3 mo. At 8 mo, however, pressor responses in emphysematous lungs to 0% O2 (but not to angiotensin II) were significantly increased. This was the result of a lack of the normal age-related fall in the hypoxic pressor response. Our results suggest that the right ventricular hypertrophy found in these emphysematous animals results from a chronically increased pulmonary vascular resistance. Furthermore, increases in pulmonary vascular resistance in the early development of emphysema are likely a result of the loss of vascular beds and supporting connective tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1474-1480
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • angiotensin II
  • cor pulmonale
  • hypoxia
  • hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction
  • pressure-flow relationships
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • pulmonary vascular resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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