, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1232-1238

Eight hours' inhalation of prostacyclin (PGl2) in healthy lambs: Effects on tracheal, bronchial, and alveolar morphology

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Abstract

Objective

To study potential toxic effects of long-term (8 h) inhaled prostacyclin (PGI2) on respiratory tract tissues.

Design

In a prospective, randomized order, either PGI2 (n=7) or normal saline (n=7) was aerosolized during a time period of 8 h in healthy lambs.

Setting

Institute for Surgical Research of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich.

Animals

14 healthy, anesthetized, ventilated lambs.

Interventions

All animals were endotracheally intubated followed by tracheotomy. PGI2 solution or normal saline was administered with a jet nebulizer (delivery rate 4–10 ml/h; mass median diameter of aerosol particles 3.1 μm).

Measurements and results

Histomorphological changes after 8-h inhalation of PGI2 solution were compared to those after 8-h inhalation of normal saline. Tracheal and bronchoalveolar tissues were examined by light and electron microscopy in order to assess tissue damage induced by inhaled PGI2. Pathological changes were ranked by a blinded observer following a graduation system ranging from “absence of pathological changes” to “maximal pathological changes”. Abnormalities were restricted to the trachea (focal flattening of the epithelium, loss of cilia, slight inflammatory cell infiltration) and alveolar tissue (focal alveolar septal thickening with slight inflammatory cell infiltration), but no statistically significant differences between the PGI2 and control groups were encountered.

Conclusion

Our findings indicate the absence of PGI2 aerosol-related respiratory tissue damage after 8-h inhalation of PGI2.

PGI2 (Flolan) was supplied by Wellcome, London, UK. The study was supported, in part, by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, grant zw 37/4-1