Increased pulmonary vascular permeability as a cause of re-expansion edema in rabbits

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1981 Oct;124(4):422-7. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1981.124.4.422.


In order to study the mechanism(s) underlying re-expansion edema, we measured the concentration of labeled albumin (RISA) in the extravascular, extracellular water (EVECW) of the lung as a measure of pulmonary vascular permeability. Re-expansion edema was first induced by rapid re-expansion of rabbit lungs that had been collapsed for 1 wk by pneumothorax. The RISA in EVECW was expressed as a fraction of its plasma concentration: (RISA)L/(RISA)PL. The volume of EVECW (ml/gm dry lung) was measured using a 24Na indicator. Results in re-expansion edema were compared with normal control lungs and with oleic acid edema as a model of permeability edema. In re-expanded lungs, EVECW (3.41 +/- SD 1.24 ml/g) and (RISA)L/(RISA)PL 0.84 +/- SD 0.15) were significantly increased when compared with normal control lungs (2.25 +/- 0.41 ml/g and 0.51 +/- 0.20, respectively). Results in oleic acid edema (5.66 +/- 2.23 ml/g and 0.84 +/- 0.23) were similar to re-expansion edema. This suggested that re-expansion edema is due to increased pulmonary vascular permeability caused by mechanical stresses applied to the lung during re-expansion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Water / analysis
  • Capillary Permeability*
  • Extracellular Space / analysis
  • Female
  • Lung / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Oleic Acid
  • Oleic Acids
  • Pneumothorax, Artificial
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology*
  • Pulmonary Edema / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Veins / physiopathology
  • Rabbits
  • Serum Albumin, Radio-Iodinated
  • Stress, Mechanical


  • Oleic Acids
  • Serum Albumin, Radio-Iodinated
  • Oleic Acid