Distensibility of small arteries of the dog lung

A. Al-Tinawi, J. A. Madden, C. A. Dawson*, J. H. Linehan, D. R. Harder, D. A. Rickaby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To obtain in situ measurements of the distensibility of small (100- to 1,000-μm-diam) pulmonary arterial vessels of the dog lung, X-ray angiograms were obtained from isolated lung lobes with the vascular pressure adjusted to various levels. The in situ diameter-pressure relationships were compared with the diameter-pressure relationships for small arteries that were dissected free from the lungs and cannulated with small glass pipettes for the measurement of diameter and transmural pressure. The diameter-vascular or diameter-transmural pressure curves from both in situ and cannulated vessels were sufficiently linear in the pressure range studied (0-30 Torr) that they could be characterized by linear regression to obtain estimates of D0, the diameter at zero vascular pressure, and β, the change in diameter (μm) per Torr change in pressure. The vessel distensibility coefficient (α) was defined as α = β/D0. The mean values of α were ~2.0 ± 0.8%/Torr (SD) for the in situ vessels and 1.7 ± 0.6%/Torr for the cannulated vessels, with no statistically significant difference between the two methods. The influence of vasoconstriction elicited by serotonin was evaluated in the in situ vessels. Serotonin-induced vasoconstriction caused a decrease in D0 and little change in α.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1714-1722
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991


  • isolated lungs
  • isolated vessels
  • pulmonary angiography
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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