Pulmonary Hemodynamics

Saurabh Aggarwal, Christine M. Gross, Robert J. Porcelli, Stephen M. Black

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


The pulmonary circulation system is the only system through which the entire cardiac output passes. The major role of pulmonary circulation is respiratory gas exchange. Therefore, to facilitate this role, pulmonary circulation is a low-pressure, high-flow system. Pulmonary circulation can accommodate any changes in blood flow due to relative passivity and the ability to recruit unperfused vessels. Several factors such as gravity, lung inflation, alveolar surface tension, and blood viscosity can influence pulmonary circulation under both physiological and pathological conditions. For instance, in an upright position, gravity increases both blood flow and ventilation in caudal regions, with a greater change in blood flow than ventilation. As a result, there is a gradual decrease in ventilation-to-perfusion ratios from the apex to the base of the lung in an upright position. The inflation of the lung can compress and distort vessels and alter blood flow through pulmonary circulation. The alveolar surface tension attenuates lung capillary resistance and promotes capillary blood flow. In contrast, an increase in blood viscosity or hematocrit decreases pulmonary flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComparative Biology of the Normal Lung
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)9780124045774
ISBN (Print)9780124047266
StatePublished - Mar 18 2015


  • Blood viscosity
  • Gravitational forces
  • Pulmonary arterial pressure
  • Pulmonary blood flow
  • Pulmonary blood volume
  • Pulmonary vascular resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Pulmonary Hemodynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this