Postpneumonectomy airway growth in the ferret

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1985 Mar;58(3):1010-4. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1985.58.3.1010.


To investigate the participation of the conducting airways in compensatory growth following partial lung resection, bronchial casts of six ferrets having undergone right-sided pneumonectomy at 8 wk of age were compared with those of five sham-operated control animals. At maturity, the left lungs of the postpneumonectomy animals were 65% larger than those of the controls. Central airway cross-sectional areas at 10 specific locations in each cast were 12% larger in the postpneumonectomy animals compared with controls. To characterize the size of more peripheral airways, the size and number of the terminal bronchioles subtended by each airway in each left lower lobe cast were identified so that the fraction of the lobe served by that airway could be estimated. The characteristic cross-sectional areas of airway serving 0.7, 2.2, and 9.5% of the left lower lobe in postpneumonectomy animals were 18, 13, and 13% larger than those of controls, but this difference was statistically significant only at the two more peripheral levels. Although airway areas were larger in postpneumonectomy animals, the ratio of airway cross-sectional area to the 0.67 power of lung volume was 20-26% smaller in operated than in control animals at each of the four levels. Following pneumonectomy in the weanling ferret, central and peripheral conducting airways increase in cross-sectional area to similar degrees, but this airway growth is less than the compensatory increase in lung volume.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Bronchi / anatomy & histology
  • Bronchi / growth & development*
  • Carnivora / growth & development*
  • Ferrets / growth & development*
  • Lung / anatomy & histology
  • Lung / growth & development*
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Pneumonectomy*