Pulmonary interstitial pressure in premature rabbits

Giuseppe Miserocchi, Besa Haxhiu Poskurica, Massimo del Fabbro, Beatrice Crisafulli

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By micropuncture technique we measured pulmonary interstitial pressuure (Pip) from birth up to 6 h postnatal age in anesthetized and paralyzed cesarian delivered term (31 days gestation) and premature (27 to 30 days gestation) rabbits. In term cesarian delivered rabbits Pip followed the time course of vaginally delivered rabbits, namely, it increased from about zero at birth up to about 5 cmH2O at 2 h, as a result of alveolar fluid reabsorption, subsequently it decreased becoming subatmospheric due to progressive interstitial fluid drainage. In ventilated lung regions of premature rabbits, Pip also peaked to about 5 cmH2O at 2 h but its subsequent decrease was markedly slowed down while in atelectatic regions of premature rabbits Pip remained slightly subatmospheric. Up to 6 h, the wet/dry weight ratio of the lung was higher in premature relative to vaginally and cesarian delivered term rabbits (at birth 8.4 ± 0.9 vs. 7.5 ± 0.8). In 29-31 days rabbits, plasma protein concentration at birth was 3.6 ± 0.5 g/dl (within 95% confidence limits for vaginally delivered rabbits, considered as control) while in 27-28 days rabbit it was 3.1 ± 0.4 g/dl (at the lower edge of control confidence limits). In the first postnatal hours, the increase in Pip favoured fluid reabsorption into pulmonary microcirculation in term cesarian delivered rabbits and in ventilated regions of premature rabbits. Conversely, in the atelectatic regions of premature rabbits the unchanged Pip value in the postnatal hours favours fluid filtration from microcirculation into lung interstitium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Development, interstitial pressure at birth
  • Mammals, rabbit
  • Pressure, interstitial, at birth
  • Water, extravascular lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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