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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1986 Nov;61(5):1875-81.

Increased vasoreactivity and chronic pulmonary hypertension following thoracic irradiation in sheep.


Six chronically catheterized sheep were exposed to 1,500-rad whole-lung irradiation and followed for a four-week period. Pulmonary arterial, left atrial and systemic arterial pressures, cardiac output, arterial blood gases, and pH were measured at base line and biweekly following radiation. Pulmonary vasoreactivity to 12% O2, 100% O2, and an analogue of prostaglandin H2 (PGH2-A) was also assessed. Five nonirradiated sheep served as controls. By the 2nd wk following irradiation, pulmonary vascular resistance had doubled. Final pulmonary arterial pressure was increased 50% over the base-line value (base line = 14 +/- 1 cm H2O; final 22 +/- 2; mean +/- SE; P less than 0.05). Arterial PO2 was decreased to approximately 70 Torr throughout the study. In addition, pulmonary vasoreactivity to PGH2-A, but not to breathing 12 or 100% O2, was significantly increased above base line in the irradiated animals (P less than 0.05). Morphometric techniques applied to the lungs in which the pulmonary arterial circulation was distended with barium gelatin mixture, showed extension of muscle into the distal intra-acinar arteries, and a reduction in both the external diameter and the number of barium-filled peripheral arteries in the irradiated animals. Thus thoracic irradiation results in functional and structural changes of chronic pulmonary hypertension and increased pulmonary vasoreactivity to PGH2-A. The structural changes in the peripheral pulmonary arterial bed may contribute to the increased pulmonary vascular reactivity following thoracic irradiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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