Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 11, pp 1872–1880 | Cite as

Time course of lung injury in rat acute pancreatitis

  • Denis R. Morel
  • Jean-Louis Frossard
  • Banu Cikirikcioglu
  • Maxime Tapponnier
  • Catherine M. Pastor



Lung injury is a severe complication of acute pancreatitis that increases the mortality rate of the disease. The pathophysiology of acute pancreatitis has been studied in several experimental models, but the kinetics of pulmonary complications in relation to the pancreatic disease is not completely understood. We then studied the severity of acute pancreatitis-associated lung injury over 18 h in rats that had taurocholic acid injection in the pancreatic duct and determined whether blood collected from rats with pancreatitis is toxic enough to induce injury in normal lungs.

Design and setting

Prospective, randomized, and controlled animal study in an animal research laboratory in a university hospital.


We isolated lungs from rats with acute pancreatitis 2, 6, and 18 h after taurocholic acid injection in the biliopancreatic duct and perfused them with blood collected from the same rats. Additionally, blood collected from rats with acute pancreatitis (time-points: 2 and 6 h) was perfused in normal lungs.

Measurements and results

Taurocholic acid injection induced a severe pancreatic injury that started as early as 2 h after the injection and persisted without recovery over the 18-h study period. In contrast, the pulmonary injury was transient, appearing at the 6-h time point with recovery by the end of the study. Pulmonary injury was moderate and evidenced mostly during lung reperfusion. Interestingly, blood collected at the 2-h time point in pancreatic rats induced pulmonary injury in normal lungs while blood collected at the 6-h time-point was not toxic.


While pancreatic injury persists over the full experimental period, pulmonary injury is transient in our experimental model. The recovery of lung injury by 18 h might be explained by a decrease in the overall toxicity of pancreatic blood over time.


Rats Lung injury Perfused lungs Acute pancreatitis 



The authors thank Manuel Jorge-Costa, Sylvie Roulet, and Jean-Pierre Giliberto for excellent technical assistance.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis R. Morel
    • 2
  • Jean-Louis Frossard
    • 3
  • Banu Cikirikcioglu
    • 2
  • Maxime Tapponnier
    • 2
  • Catherine M. Pastor
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiopathologie Hépatique et Imagerie MoléculaireHôpitaux Universitaires de GenèveGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Division d'Investigations AnesthésiologiquesHôpitaux Universitaires de GenèveGenevaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Division de Gastroentérologie et HépatologieHôpitaux Universitaires de GenèveGenevaSwitzerland

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