Determination of pulmonary blood flow by rebreathing of soluble inert gases

Jens Teichmann, Fernando Adaro, Arsenio Veicsteinas, Paolo Cerretelli, Johannes Piiper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rate of disappearance of acetylene or nitrous oxide from the alveolar gas during rebreathing was studied in dogs and in man. The subjects, hyperventilating in steady state, were connected at end-expiration to a rebreathing bag for 30 sec. After the initial 2–4 breaths the alveolar inert gas concentration followed a single exponential course until the beginning of recirculation. From the slope and intercept of this exponential at zero time the capillary blood flow and the tissue volume of the lung were calculated. Simultaneous determinations of the cardiac output were made with direct Fick method for oxygen in dogs and indirect Fick method in man. A good correlation was found between both methods. A theory is represented which takes into consideration the effect of ventilation limitation upon inert gas transfer within the rebreathing system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-309
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1974


  • Cardiac output
  • Pulmonary blood flow
  • Pulmonary tissue volume
  • Rebreathing methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology

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