Middle Articles

Stratified Pulmonary Blood Flow: Some Consequences in Emphysema and Pulmonary Embolism

Br Med J 1969; 2 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.5648.44 (Published 05 April 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;2:44
  1. John Read


    Both ventilation and blood flow in the secondary lobule of the lung are stratified; each unit of lung tissue in the proximal portion of the lobule receives up to four times the blood flow of units in the peripheral portion. Questions of the limiting role of gas diffusion within the small airways become virtually irrelevant in the face of this stratification of function.

    The central portion of the lobule, with its high ventilation, blood flow, and gas exchange, is very vulnerable; small lesions at this site will produce disproportionately large disturbances of gas exchange and of pulmonary vascular resistance. This may well account for some of the phenomena of conditions such as centrilobular emphysema and pulmonary microembolism.

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