Morphometric and histologic changes in the pulmonary system of broilers raised at simulated high altitude

Avian Pathol. 1995 Jun;24(2):293-302. doi: 10.1080/03079459508419070.


Broilers were reared in conditions of hypobaric hypoxia (3500 m altitude) to investigate the development of pulmonary nodules in birds reared in hypobaric hypoxia and judged by clinical observation to be developing broiler pulmonary hypertension syndrome (BPHS); in unaffected birds reared in hypobaric hypoxia; and in birds reared at ambient atmospheric pressure. Gross pulmonary morphometric measurements, packed cell volume, electrocardiogram QRS amplitude and body weight also were compared among the three experimental groups. Results indicate that hypobaric hypoxia alone exercised little influence on the development of pulmonary nodules. Nodule numbers per section and nodule area per section were numerically greater in birds reared in hypobaric hypoxia, but there were no consistent significant differences in nodule numbers in birds which developed BPHS. As expected, absolute lung length, inter-rib distance and lung volume increased significantly with increasing age and size; but when these parameters were expressed as a function of body weight, they decreased with increasing age. Again, intergroup differences were inconsistent. Packed cell volume and electrocardiogram QRS amplitude were significantly increased in birds reared in hypobaric hypoxia.