Chemoreception pp 141-145 | Cite as

The Pulmonary Interstitium: an Introductory Review

  • Giuseppe Miserocchi
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 536)


The lung tissue serves the main function of gas diffusion. Diffusion for oxygen at alveolar level can be estimated at some 6 x 10 8 liters over a life span, a tremendous amount, requiring specific morphofunctional adaptations of the lung tissue. The air-blood barrier displays in fact two features optimising gas diffusion: it is very thin, about 0.1-0-5 µm due to its delicate structure and furthermore the extravascular space reflects a condition of minimum hydration, in fact one may think of the pulmonary interstitium as a functionally "dry" tissue space. The minimum amount of interstitial water depends upon the dynamic equilibrium established between fluid filtration through a low permeability microvascular district and a powerful lymphatic drainage. Such equilibrium results in a subatmospheric hydraulic pressure of the interstitial space of the order of- 10 cmH2O (Miserocchi et al. 1990).


Interstitial Edema Lung Edema Interstitial Pressure Fluid Filtration Interstitial Matrix 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Miserocchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina SperimentaleAmbientale e Biotecnologie Mediche Università di Milano-BicoccaMONZA - ITALY

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