A three-compartment model of the pulmonary vasculature: Effects of vasoconstriction

J. H. Linehan, C. A. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The venous occlusion experiments provide sufficient data to permit the vascular bed of a dog lung lobe to be mathematically modeled as three serial compartments, each containing a quantifiable resistance separated by equal parallel compliances. To determine how these compartments are related to the sites of vasomotion in the pulmonary vascular bed we investigated the effects of various pulmonary vasomotor stimuli. We found that serotonin, sympathetic nerve stimulation, hypoxia, and prostaglandin E(2α) increased the pressure drop upstream (arterial) from the site of major lobar compliance. On the other hand, histamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and elevation of the cerebrospinal fluid pressure drop downstream (venous) from the site of major lobar compliance. These stimuli either did not affect the pressure drop across the middle compartment or increased it slightly. Thus we conclude that the middle compartment represents vessels located between the muscular arteries and veins including the capillary bed and possibly other small nonmuscular vessels. Further, the average preocclusion pressure in the middle compartment is a microvascular pressure that can be used to evaluate the impact of vasoconstriction on the lobar microcirculation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-928
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology


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