We measured the protein composition of plasma and lung fluids from nine dogs with cardiogenic edema. To produce the edema, we increased left atrial pressure an average of 36 cmH2O by inflating a balloon catheter in the left atrium, infusing norepinephrine, and infusing large volumes of saline or saline-diluted blood. Blood samples were collected every 15 min, and airway fluid was collected from five dogs that developed severe edema. Terminally, the chest was opened and the lungs were removed. Samples of alveolar fluid were taken from the excised lung by direct pleural puncture with micropipettes. The lungs were frozen in liquid nitrogen and samples of free interstitial fluid were taken from the perivascular and peribronchial cuffs. Plasma and lung fluids were analyzed for total protein by the Lowry method and for albumin-globulin fractions by cellulose acetate electrophoresis. The average total protein concentrations (g/100 ml) were--plasma, 2.65; free interstitial fluid, 1.05; alveolar fluid, 1.23; and airway fluid, 1.29. The average albumin fraction of plasma was 0.40; of alveolar fluid, 0.43; and of airway fluid, 0.43. The protein concentrations in the three lung fluids were nearly identical to each other, but were less than half that of plasma. We conclude that in high-pressure pulmonary edema with alveolar flooding, the capillary endothelium retains the ability to restrict protein relative to fluid filtration, but the alveolar epithelium becomes freely permeable to protein.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Physiological Society