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Environ Res. 1985 Apr;36(2):268-97.

The distribution of dust in the rat lung following administration by inhalation and by single intratracheal instillation.


A comparison was made of the distribution of dust in the rat lung following its administration by inhalation and by a single intratracheal instillation. Due to the wide variety of instillation techniques, an "average" method was adopted based on the results from a survey of 15 laboratories in Europe and the USA. Novel techniques were developed to quantify the distribution of dust within the lung both microscopically and macroscopically. The distribution of dust obtained by instillation was shown to be much less homogeneous that that obtained by inhalation and penetration to the periphery was minimal. The effects of (a) changing the volume of suspension, (b) changing the concentration of the suspension, and (c) introducing air into the syringe were investigated. Although the use of air in the syringe was beneficial, none of the other modifications effected any improvement in the distribution. The difference in distribution following inhalation and instillation leads to the conclusion that the latter may be of use in establishing the nature and comparative response of the lung to different dusts, but not for establishing an absolute dose-response relationship. It is recommended that no more than 1 mg of fibrous or 5 mg of nonfibrous dust be given in a single instillation to adult rats.

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