Morphometric characterization of the airway and vascular systems of the lung of the domestic pig, Sus scrofa: Comparison of the airway, arterial and venous systems

John N. Maina, Peter Van Gils

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The bronchial system (BS), the pulmonary artery (PA) and the pulmonary vein (PV) of the lung of the domestic pig, Sus scrofa were simultaneously cast with silicone rubber and studied. Asymmetrical dichotomous bifurcation preponderated in the tree-like arrangement of the three conducting systems. Lengths and diameters of the various generations were measured. At the extremities of the BS and the PA, alveoli and blood capillaries related very closely. In the cranial and middle lobes of the right and left lungs, topographically, the PA and the PV closely followed the BS, but in the accessory and the caudal (diaphragmatic) lobes, only the PA accompanied the BS: the PV run intersegmentally. Certain similarities and differences were observed between the diameters and lengths of the various generations of the three conducting systems. The strong correlations between some of the structural parameters indicated a high level of structural optimization. While morphometric variations suggest that the air and the blood flow dynamics may somewhat differ between the three conducting systems, they may also register structural features unique to the lung of the domestic pig, an animal that has been highly genetically exploited for fast growth and now leads an indolent lifestyle in captivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-798
Number of pages18
JournalComparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology
Volume130
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Artery
  • Bronchus
  • Capillary
  • Fractal geometry
  • Lung
  • Pig
  • Respiration
  • Vein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology

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