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July 1971

Short-Term Exposure to Nitrogen Dioxide: Effects on Pulmonary Ultrastructure, Compliance, and the Surfactant System

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC

From the departments of medicine and pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;128(1):74-80. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310190078009

Eleven beagles were exposed to nitrogen dioxide in concentrations ranging from 3 to 16 ppm for one hour. Two control dogs were air-ventilated for one hour. Widespread bleb formation, loss of pinocytotic vesicles, and mitochondrial swelling of endothelial cells ensued. Intraalveolar edema occurred in most dogs exposed to 7 ppm NO2 or higher and membrane damage without edema occurred in the others. Intraalveolar edema by light microscopy was associated with impaired surfactant activity and lung compliance. Exposure to NO2 of 5 ppm or greater resulted in decrease of recovered lung lavage saturated lecithin. Exposure to 3 ppm NO2 resulted in bleb formation in alveolar endothelium without biochemical or physiological changes.

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