Lung Reperfusion Injury after Chronic or Acute Unilateral Pulmonary Artery Occlusion

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Because the lungs receive their blood supply from both the pulmonary and bronchial systems, chronic pulmonary artery obstruction does not necessarily result in severe ischemia. Ischemia-reperfusion (IR) lung injury may therefore be attenuated after long-term pulmonary artery obstruction. To test this hypothesis, isolated left lungs of pigs were reperfused two days (acute IR group) or 5 wk (chronic IR group) after left pulmonary artery ligation and compared to those of sham-operated animals. The severity of IR-lung injury after 60 min ex vivo reperfusion of the left lung was assessed based on lung histology and measurements of filtration coefficient (Kfc), pulmonary arterial resistance (Rpa), and lung myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Marked bronchial circulation hypertrophy was seen in the chronic IR group. Hemorrhagic alveolar edema was found in all acute IR lungs but not in sham or chronic IR lungs. Compared with the sham-operated controls, Kfc and Rpa increased twofold and threefold, and MPO 1.5-fold and twofold in the chronic and acute IR groups, respectively. In conclusion, IR-induced lung injury was markedly reduced when it occurred 5 wk after pulmonary artery ligation, probably because the systemic blood supply to the lung had time to develop, limiting ischemia.

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