Pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate does not restore hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in ovine sepsis

Stefanie R. Fischer, Hans G. Bone, W. Cameron Powell, Roy McGuire, Lillian D. Traber, Daniel L. Traber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives: Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction, a protective mechanism, minimizes perfusion of underventilated lung areas to reduce ventilation- perfusion mismatching. We studied the effects of sepsis on hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and attempted to determine whether hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction is influenced by pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate, a nitric oxide scavenger. Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled experimental study with repeated measures. Setting: Investigational intensive care unit at a university medical center. Subjects: Nineteen female merino sheep, divided into three groups: group 1, controls (n = 5); group 2, sheep with sepals (n = 6); and group 3, septic sheep treated with pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate (n = 8). Interventions: All sheep were instrumented for chronic study. An ultrasonic flow probe was placed around the left pulmonary artery. After a 5-day recovery, a tracheostomy was performed and a double-lumen endotracheal tube was placed. Animals in groups 2 and 3 received a 48-hr infusion of live Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6 x 106 colony-forming units/kg/hr). After 24 hrs, sheep in group 3 received pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate (20 mg/kg/hr) for 16 hrs; sheep in groups 1 and 2 received only the vehicle. Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction was repeatedly tested by unilateral hypoxia of the left lung with 100% nitrogen. Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction was assessed as the change in left pulmonary blood flow. Measurements and Main Results:. In the animals in group 1, left pulmonary blood flow decreased by 62 ± 8 (SEM) % during left lung hypoxia and remained stable during repeated hypoxic challenges throughout the study period. After 24 hrs of sepsis, left pulmonary blood flow decreased from 56 ± 10% to 26 ± 2% (group 2) and from 50 ± 8% to 23 ± 6% (group 3). In the sheep in group 2, there was no adaptation over time. Pulmonary shunt fraction increased. Pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate had no effect on hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction or pulmonary shunt. The animals receiving the bacterial infusion developed a hyperdynamic circulatory state with hypotension, decreased systemic vascular resistance, and increased cardiac output. Pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate increased mean arterial pressure and systemic vascular resistance but did not influence cardiac index. Pulmonary arterial pressure was increased during sepsis and increased even further after pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate administration. Oxygenation and oxygen delivery and uptake were not affected by pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate. Conclusions: Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction is blunted during sepals and there is no adaptation over time. It is not influenced by pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate. Pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate reversed hypotension and with the exception of an increase in pulmonary arterial pressure, had no adverse effects on hemodynamics or oxygenation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1551-1559
Number of pages9
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1997


  • Hemoglobin
  • Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction
  • Nitric oxide
  • Pyridoxalated hemoglobin polyoxyethylene conjugate
  • Sepsis
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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