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Laboratory and Animal Investigations |

Effects of Bronchial Transection and Reanastomosis on Mucociliary System*

Dolores Helena Rodriquez Ferreira Rivero, MSc; Geraldo Lorenzi-Filho, MD, PhD; Rogério Pazetti, BSc; Fabio Biscegli Jatene, MD, PhD; Paulo Hilário Nascimento Saldiva, MD, PhD, FCCP
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*From the Department of Cardio-Pneumology, Thoracic Surgery Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Experimental Air Pollution Laboratory, School of Medicine, São Paulo University, Brazil.

Correspondence to: Dolores Helena Rodriguez Ferreira Rivero, MSc, Departamento de Cardio-Pneumologia, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Dr. Arnaldo, 455 1° andar sala 1227, Cerqueira César - São Paulo - SP CEP: 01246–903, Brasil; e-mail: dohelena@usp.br



Chest. 2001;119(5):1510-1515. doi:10.1378/chest.119.5.1510
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Study objectives: The mechanisms involved in the impairment of mucociliary function after lung transplantation are not completely understood. The purpose of the present study was to isolate the effects of unilateral bronchial transection and reanastomosis in a rat model.

Design:In situ bronchial mucociliary transport (MCT) was determined proximal and distal to the bronchial anastomosis, as well as in the right bronchus, in 48 rats classified into six groups: intact rats, and rats at 1 day, 2 days, 7 days, 15 days, and 30 days after bronchial transection and reanastomosis of the left main stem bronchus. In vitro mucus transportability and mucus contact angle were studied in another group of eight rats after 1 week of surgery.

Results: Distal to the anastomosis site, left bronchus in situ MCT (mean ± SD) was 0.26 ± 0.19 mm/min for the intact group, and 0.11 ± 0.13 mm/min, 0.07 ± 0.04 mm/min, 0.03 ± 0.04 mm/min, 0.07 ± 0.12 mm/min, and 0.05 ± 0.06 mm/min for 1 day, 2 days, 7 days, 15 days, and 30 days after surgery, respectively (all significantly reduced, p < 0.05). No intergroup differences were found proximal to the anastomosis (p = 0.30). When comparing the left and right bronchi, differences were detected in both distal (p < 0.0001) and proximal sides (p = 0.0001). No significant differences in mucus transportability in vitro were found (p = 0.15). Mucus contact angle of the left bronchus (52.8 ± 20.5°) was significantly greater than that of the mucus from the right bronchus (34.4 ± 12.9°; p < 0.05).

Conclusions: We conclude that bronchial transection and reanastomosis lead to a marked impairment of MCT in distal airways, which can in part be explained by alterations in the surface properties of mucus.

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