Structural changes in the canine lung and pulmonary arteries after pneumonectomy

J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1982 Oct;53(4):859-64. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1982.53.4.859.


The study set out to describe the structural changes in the remaining lung of beagle dogs after left-sided pneumonectomy, performed at 6-10 wk or 1 yr of age. After a 5-yr postoperative recovery, lung volume and weight had increased in the operated groups, though only the latter was significant in comparison with 5-yr-old controls. In both operated groups, total alveolar number in the right lung was normal. The total volume of alveolar ducts, mean linear intercept, and (in the young operated group) mean alveolar volume were increased, indicating a compensatory enlargement of distal air spaces. Lobar differences reinforced these conclusions. In the 1-yr operated group, medial hypertrophy was present in preacinar arteries, with a similar trend in intra-acinar arteries where peripheral extension of medial smooth muscle was also present. Despite the lack of structural change in their pulmonary arterial system, the young operated group had right ventricular hypertrophy. Previously reported evidence of alveolar proliferation shortly after pneumonectomy probably represents a speeding up of normal developmental patterns, but after prolonged recovery the final alveolar number is no greater than normal.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Lung / anatomy & histology*
  • Lung / growth & development
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / anatomy & histology*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / growth & development
  • Pulmonary Artery / anatomy & histology*
  • Pulmonary Artery / growth & development