Dose and gender dependence of chlorine inhalation in a conscious ovine model

Sci Rep. 2023 Dec 15;13(1):22367. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-48720-2.


Characterization of the pathophysiology of ARDS following chlorine gas inhalation in clinically relevant translational large animal models is essential, as the opportunity for clinical trials in this type of trauma is extremely limited. To investigate Cl2 concentration and gender-dependent ARDS severity. Sheep (n = 54) were exposed to air or Cl2 premixed in air at a concentration of 50, 100, 200, and 300 ppm for 30 min under anesthesia/analgesia and monitored for an additional 48 h in a conscious state. Cardiopulmonary variables and survival endpoints were compared between male and female sheep. Overall there were no significant differences in the responses of female and male sheep except pulmonary oxygenation tended to be better in the male sheep (300 ppm group), and the pulmonary arterial pressure was lower (200 ppm group). The onset of mild ARDS (200 < PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 300) was observed at 36 h post exposure in the 50 ppm group, whereas the 100 ppm group developed mild and moderate (100 ≤ PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 200) ARDS by 12 and 36 h after injury, respectively. The 200 ppm and 300 ppm groups developed moderate ARDS within 6 and 3 h after injury, respectively. The 300 ppm group progressed to severe (PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 100) ARDS at 18 h after injury. Increases in pPeak and pPlateau were noted in all injured animals. Compared to sham, inhalation of 200 ppm and 300 ppm Cl2 significantly increased lung extravascular water content. The thoracic cavity fluid accumulation dose-dependently increased with the severity of trauma as compared to sham. At necropsy, the lungs were red, heavy, solidified, and fluid filled; the injury severity grew with increasing Cl2 concentration. The severity of ARDS and mortality rate directly correlated to inhaled Cl2 concentrations. No significant sex-dependent differences were found in measured endpoint variables.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Chlorine* / therapeutic use
  • Chlorine* / toxicity
  • Female
  • Lung
  • Male
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome*
  • Sheep


  • Chlorine