Bronchial edema alters (99m)Tc-DTPA clearance from the airway surface in sheep.
Airway wall edema, prominent in inflammatory airways disease, may alter barrier properties at the airway air-liquid interface such that normal absorption of soluble substances into the airway circulation is altered. We studied the effects of bradykinin-induced airway wall edema on the clearance of the soluble tracer technetium-99m-labeled diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid ((99m)Tc-DTPA) from subcarinal airways in sheep (n = 8). (99m)Tc-DTPA (6-10 microl) was delivered by a microspray nozzle inserted through a bronchoscope to a fourth-generation bronchus both before and 1 h after bradykinin (20 ml; 10(-6) M) had been infused through a cannulated and perfused bronchial artery. Airway retention (by scintigraphy) and blood levels of radiolabel were monitored for 30 min after the local deposition of (99m)Tc-DTPA. During control conditions, 85-90% of the tracer cleared from the deposition site within 30 min. The maximum blood level during that time was 17% of the total delivered tracer. However, 1 h after bradykinin infusion, there was significant retention of the marker at the deposition site with clearance within 30 min reduced to 63-70% and decreased blood levels of radiolabel (8%; both P < 0.05). These results demonstrate that moderate airway wall edema alters blood uptake and removal of soluble substances delivered to the subcarinal airways. We suggest that the interplay between vascular and mucociliary clearance routes will impact the resident time for clearance of soluble air toxins and/or therapeutic agents from the epithelial surface.
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