Hypoxia mediated pulmonary edema: potential influence of oxidative stress, sympathetic activation and cerebral blood flow
The syndrome of neurogenic pulmonary edema raises the question of whether there are neurological influences on pulmonary vascular permeability. Previous experimental models commonly produced severe hemodynamic alterations, complicating the distinction of increased permeability from increased hydrostatic forces in the formation of the pulmonary edema. Accordingly, we employed a milder central nervous system insult and measured the pulmonary vascular protein extravasation rate, which is a sensitive and specific indicator of altered protein permeability. After elevating intracranial pressure via cisternal saline infusion in anesthetized dogs, we used a dual isotope method to measure the protein leak index. This elevated intracranial pressure resulted in a nearly three-fold rise in the protein leak index (54.1 +/- 7.5 vs. 20.2 +/- 0.9). This central nervous system insult was associated with only mild increases in pulmonary arterial pressures and cardiac output. However, when we reproduced these hemodynamic changes with left atrial balloon inflation or isoproterenol infusion, we observed no effect on the protein leak index compared with control. Although the pulmonary arterial wedge pressure with intracranial pressure remained <10 mmHg, increases in the extravascular lung water were demonstrated. The results suggest the existence of neurological influences on pulmonary vascular protein permeability. We conclude that neurological insults result in increase pulmonary vascular permeability to protein and subsequent edema formation, which could not be accounted for by hemodynamic changes alone.