Alterations of Airway Caliber after Pulmonary Embolization in the Dog

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Lobar thromboembolization produced generalized airway narrowing in the lungs, as demonstrated radiologically in 17 anesthetized, paralyzed, and artificially ventilated dogs. Consistent demonstration of airways as small as 0.5 mm in diameter was achieved by bronchography with powdered tantalum and primary magnification radiography with an x-ray tube of 0.3 mm focal spot side dimensions. All outlined intrapulmonary airways constricted after both ipsilateral and contralateral embolization. The extent of constriction did not differ quantitatively between ipsilateral and contralateral embolization. The time of maximum narrowing was from 80 to 120 seconds after embolization, with return to control levels in the ensuing 4 to 40 min. The site of maximum narrowing was airways with an initial caliber of 0.5 to 3.0 mm. These radiologic results confirm that, in the dog, bronchial and proximal bronchiolar narrowing occurs after thromboembolization and is a transient, generalized response.

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