We investigated the effect of pentoxifylline (PTX) on the development of pulmonary edema in a model of adult respiratory distress syndrome in rabbits. Lung injury was induced by repeated saline lavages in adult rabbits weighing 2.5 to 3.5 kg. Rabbits pretreated with PTX (20 mg/kg bolus followed by 20 mg/kg/h infusion) developed significantly lower amounts of lung edema 4 h after saline lavage (extravascular lung water to dry weight ratio [W/D], 6.9 +/- 0.6 SD versus 8.9 +/- 0.5 in control animals). PTX produced a 25% increase in cardiac output, but there were no differences between treated and untreated groups in calculated pulmonary vascular resistance or microvascular pressure. To determine whether PTX could have lowered pulmonary venous resistance and thus lowered effective microvascular pressure for fluid filtration, we directly measured pulmonary artery and left atrial pressures, and measured by micropuncture the pressure in 20 to 40 microns subpleural venules in four open-chested rabbits 3 to 4 h after lavage. Venous resistance was low (venous pressure drop 0.9 +/- 0.1 mm Hg) and was unchanged by PTX infusion. To determine if PTX decreased lung water by accelerating active alveolar fluid reabsorption, a single 60-ml aliquot of saline was instilled into the lungs of normal rabbits treated with saline or PTX. Both groups had a similar decrease in lung water content 1 and 4 h later. Our data indicate that PTX reduces edema formation in rabbits after saline lavage, not by lowering microvascular pressures for fluid filtration or by acceleration alveolar fluid reabsorption, but possibly by its anti-inflammatory effect on neutrophil function.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990EG08800019
View details for PubMedID 2240831