Pulmonary vascular compliance and viscoelasticity

J. H. Linehan, C. A. Dawson, D. A. Rickaby, T. A. Bronikowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


When dog lung lobes were perfused at constant arterial inflow rate, occlusion of the venous outflow (VO) produced a rapid jump in venous pressure (Pv) followed by a slower rise in both arterial pressure (Pa) and Pv. During the slow rise Pa(t) and Pv(t) tended to converge and become concave upward as the volume of blood in the lungs increased. We compared the dynamic vascular volume vs. pressure curves obtained after VO with the static volume vs. pressure curves obtained by dye dilution. The slope of the static curve (the static compliance, Cst) was always larger than the slope of the dynamic curve (the dynamic compliance, Cdyn). In addition, the Cdyn decreased with increasing blood flow rate. When venous occlusion (VO) was followed after a short time interval by arterial occlusion (AO) such that the lobe was isovolumic, both Pa and Pv fell with time to a level that was below either pressure at the instant of AO. In an attempt to explain these observations a compartmental model was constructed in which the hemodynamic resistance and vascular compliance were volume dependent and the vessel walls were viscoelastic. These features of the model could account for the convergence and upward concavity of the Pa and Pv curves after VO and the pressure relaxation in the isovolumic state after AO, respectively. According to the model analysis, the difference between Cst and Cdyn and the flow dependence of Cdyn are due to wall viscosity and volume dependence of compliance, respectively. Model analysis also suggested ways of evaluating changes in the viscoelasticity of the lobar vascular bed. Hypoxic vasoconstriction that increased total vascular resistance also decreased Cst and Cdyn and appeared to increase the vessel wall viscosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1802-1814
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Pulmonary vascular compliance and viscoelasticity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this