Mechanostructural adaptations preceding postpneumonectomy lung growth

Exp Lung Res. 2012 Oct;38(8):396-405. doi: 10.3109/01902148.2012.715364. Epub 2012 Aug 20.


In many species, pneumonectomy results in compensatory growth in the remaining lung. Although the late mechanical consequences of murine pneumonectomy are known, little is known about the anatomic adaptations and respiratory mechanics during compensatory lung growth. To investigate the structural and mechanical changes during compensatory growth, mice were studied for 21 days after left pneumonectomy using microCT and respiratory system impedance (FlexiVent). Anatomic changes after left pneumonectomy included minimal mediastinal shift or chestwall remodeling, but significant displacement of the heart and cardiac lobe. Mean displacement of the cardiac lobe centroid was 5.2 ± 0.8 mm. Lung impedance measurements were used to investigate the associated changes in respiratory mechanics. Quasi-static pressure-volume loops demonstrated progressive increase in volumes with decreased distensibility. Measures of quasi-static compliance and elastance were increased at all time points postpneumonectomy (P < .01). Oscillatory mechanics demonstrated a significant change in tissue impedance on the third day after pneumonectomy. The input impedance on day 3 after pneumonectomy demonstrated a significant increase in tissue damping (5.8 versus 4.3 cm H(2)O/mL) and elastance (36.7 versus 26.6 cm H(2)O/mL) when compared to controls. At all points, hysteresivity was unchanged (0.17). We conclude that the timing and duration of the mechanical changes was consistent with a mechanical signal for compensatory growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Elasticity
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Lung / growth & development
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung / surgery
  • Lung Compliance
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Size
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Respiration
  • Thoracic Wall / physiopathology
  • X-Ray Microtomography