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April 28, 1962

Problem of Pulmonary Circulation

JAMA. 1962;180(4):349. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050170081027

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The study of pulmonary physiology is a fascinating subject; the Ciba Foundation, almost without exception, arranges outstanding conferences. The combination of the 2 has resulted in a worthwhile, succinct volume dealing with several important aspects of pulmonary circulation. These include: radiological evaluation of pulmonary arterial and venous pressures, pulmonary circulation in cardiac disease, pulmonary hypertension, nervous aspects of pulmonary circulation, gas exchange, and the results of varying oxygen tension and acetylcholine.

I was particularly interested in the discussion of pulmonary hypoventilation in regard to local reflex action. P. H. Rossier of Zurich has concluded that pulmonary vascular constriction results in alveolar hypoventilation primarily due to the decreased oxygen tension and only secondarily to the elevated partial carbon dioxide pressure. Graphically, a linear relationship exists between the mean pulmonary arterial pressure and the alveolar oxygen tension. The peripheral arterial oxygen desaturation has no direct bearing on peripheral intrapulmonary vascular resistance. Lastly,