Lymph and Pulmonary Response to Isobaric Reduction in Plasma Oncotic Pressure in Baboons

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Abstract

SUMMARY

Plasma colloid osmotic pressure was reduced by 76% (from 19.6 ± 0.6 to 4.7 ± 1.5 mm Hg) in five baboons while pulmonary capillary hydrostatic pressure was maintained at a normal level. This resulted in fluid retention, weight gain, peripheral edema and ascites, but no pulmonary edema. Thoracic duct lymph flow increased 6-fold and pulmonary lymph flow 7-fold. Thoracic duct lymph had a lower colloid osmotic pressure (2.0 ± 0.7 mm Hg) than plasma (4.7 ± 1.5 mm Hg), whereas the colloid osmotic pressure of pulmonary lymph (4.7 ± 0.7 mm Hg) was the same as that of plasma. The lymph-plasma ratio for albumin fell in thoracic duct lymph but remained unchanged in pulmonary lymph. The difference between plasma colloid osmotic pressure and pulmonary artery wedge pressure decreased from 15.3 ± 1.9 to −0.7 ± 2.9 mm Hg. Despite this increase in filtration force, the lungs were protected from edema formation by a decrease of 11 mm Hg in pulmonary interstitial colloid osmotic pressure and a 7-fold increase in lymph flow.

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