Anatomic distribution of pulmonary vascular compliance

Robert G. Presson*, Said H. Audi, Christopher C. Hanger, Gerald M. Zenk, Richard A. Sidner, John H. Linehan, Wiltz W. Wagner, Christopher A. Dawson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Previously, the pressure changes after arterial and venous occlusion have been used to characterize the longitudinal distribution of pulmonary vascular resistance with respect to vascular compliance using compartmental models. However, the compartments have not been defined anatomically. Using video microscopy of the subpleural microcirculation, we have measured the flow changes in ~40-μm arterioles and venules after venous, arterial, and double occlusion maneuvers. The quasi-steady flows through these vessels after venous occlusion permitted an estimation of the compliance in three anatomic segments: arteries >40 μm, veins >40 μm, and vessels <40 μm in diameter. We found that ~65% of the total pulmonary vascular compliance was in vessels <40 μm, presumably mostly capillaries. The transient portions of the pressure and flow data after venous, arterial, and double occlusion were consistent with most of the arterial compliance being upstream from most of the arterial resistance and most of the venous compliance being downstream from most of the venous resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


  • Arterial occlusion
  • Digital image analysis
  • Double occlusion
  • Fluorescently labeled red blood cells
  • Isolated dog lung
  • Mathematical model
  • Pulmonary microcirculation
  • Vascular resistance
  • Venous occlusion
  • Video fluorescence microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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