PMID: 1150590Jul 1, 1975Paper

Mechanism of arterial hypoxemia following pulmonary thromboembolism in dogs

Journal of Applied Physiology
S E Levy, D H Simmons


Mongrel dogs (29) were anesthetized, paralyzed, and ventilated at a constant minute volume. AaD02 breathing air and 100% O2, venous admixture breathing air (Qva/Qt) and 100% O2 (Qs/Qt), single-breath diffusing capacity for CO (DLCO), and total pulmonary resistance (RL) and pulmonary compliance (CL) were measured before and after pulmonary embolization with autologus in vivo venous thrombi. Nine dogs were heparinized before embolization. In the 20 nonheparinized dogs AaDo2 breathing air increased from 11 to 26 mmHg, Qva/Qt from 4 to 22%, and Qs/At from 5 to 8%. DLCO decreased 24%, RL increased 43%, and CL fell 30%. In the nine heparinized dogs AaDo2 breathing air increased from 8 to 13 mmHg and Qva/Qt from 3 to 8%; Qs/Qt did not change. DLCO decreased 31%; RL and CL did not change significantly. The increase in Qva/Qt of 5% in the heparinized dogs was significantly less (P smaller than 0.001) than the increase of 18% in the nonheparinized dogs. These findings suggest that arterial hypoxemia following thromboembolism is due to ventilation-perfusion inequality caused by changes in lung mechanics.


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