Article Title

Precapillary pulmonary hypertension leads to reversible bronchial hyperreactivity in rats


Congenital heart disease with left-to-right shunt may lead to precapillary pulmonary hypertension (PREPHT) with potential lung function impairment. The authors investigated the effects of PREPHT on lung responsiveness in a rat model of PREPHT by creating and repairing an abdominal aortocaval shunt (ACS). Rats were studied 4 weeks after the induction of ACS, and 4 weeks after its surgical repair. Control rats underwent sham surgery. To assess bronchial hyperreactivity, airway resistance (Raw) was measured at baseline and after increasing doses of methacholine. Raw was estimated by model !tting of the mechanical impedance of the respiratory system generated by forced oscillation technique. Lung morphological changes were assessed by histology. The prolonged presence of the ACS led to only minor changes in the basal respiratory mechanics, whereas it induced marked bronchial hyperreactivity, the methacholine-induced elevations in Raw being 49% ± 5% before and 232% ± 32% (P <.001) after ACS. These alterations were not associated with any changes in lung histology and were completely reversible on closure of the shunt. These results suggest that the induction of chronic increases in pulmonary blood "ow and pressure causes reversible bronchial hyperreactivity. This may be consequent to the altered mechanical interdependence between the pulmonary vasculature and the respiratory tract.


peer-reviewed, airway hyperresponsiveness, cardiopulmonary interactions, lung congestion, methacholine, pulmonary edema

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