Hypoxic bronchodilation

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1992 Sep;73(3):1202-6. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1992.73.3.1202.


Recent advances in computed tomographic imaging provide a unique method to serially and directly visualize acute physiological response in the lung. To directly investigate the airway response to hypoxia, high-resolution computed tomographic scans of the lungs of eight intact anesthetized minipigs were serially repeated before, during, and after ventilation with a hypoxic gas mixture (inspired fraction of O2 congruent to 0.07). This approach demonstrated an acute reversible 56 +/- 8% (SE) dilation in large airways (greater than 2 mm diam) and a 90 +/- 15% dilation in small airways (less than 1.99 mm diam) with decreased inspired O2 tension. Of the airways studied, 70 of 76 dilated. Hypoxic bronchodilation may interact with hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in the fundamental physiological process of ventilation-perfusion matching in the lung.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bronchi / physiopathology*
  • Bronchoconstriction / physiology
  • Bronchography
  • Hypoxia / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Circulation / physiology
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology