The purpose of this investigation was to study the role of endothelins (ETs) in the pathogenesis of acute pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE). Eighteen piglets (20 ± 3 kg) were anesthetized and ventilated with 100% oxygen, five of them then served as controls. Acute thromboembolic injury in the lung was induced by injecting 15-25 ml of preformed clots into the left lower lobar pulmonary artery during thoracotomy. Pulmonary arterial pressure (Ppa) increased by at least 2.5-fold from baseline. During the subsequent 8 h, seven blood samples were collected from the left atrium and assayed for immunoreactive ETs. The results showed that following PTE: (1) Ppa remained elevated but cardiac output remained constant throughout the experiments; (2) plasma level of immunoreactive ETs increased in the embolized group compared to controls and the profile of immunoreactive ET release suggested a biphasic response. We conclude that the release of these vasocontractile and bronchoconstrictive mediators after PTE may contribute to ventilation perfusion mismatching and account for the pulmonary hypertension and deterioration of gas exchange that are often seen clinically.
*Department of Medicine and †Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and ‡Laval University, Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr John Tsang, UBC Pulmonary Research Laboratory, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 1Y6. E-mail: [email protected]
© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.