• acute lung injury;
  • partial liquid ventilation;
  • perfluorochemicals;
  • rabbit


Background:  The physical-chemical properties of perfluorochemical (PFC) liquids have been shown to influence physiological and cellular responses during partial liquid ventilation (PLV). The aim of this study is to compare the relationship between patho-physiological endpoints and the physical properties of three PFC liquids used in treating acute lung injury.

Methods:  A total of 18 juvenile rabbits were randomized into conventional mechanical ventilation or PLV groups after lung saline lavages. Three PFC liquids, including Flutec perfluoro-1,3,5-trimethylcyclohexane (PP4; vapor pressure, 28.8 mmHg at 37°C), Perfluorodecalin (PFD; vapor pressure, 13.6 mmHg at 37°C), and Perflubron (PFB; vapor pressure, 10.4 mmHg at 37°C) were used for PLV with no replacement for 4 h. A thermal detector was used to measure PFC loss rate. Physiological measurements and evaporative loss rate of PFC were done every 30 min, and lung histology was examined.

Results:  The mean evaporative loss rate was significantly higher in the PP4 group (4.75 ± 0.24 mL/kg per h) than in either the PFD (1.43 ± 0.11 mL/kg per h) or the PFB (1.18 ± 0.05 mL/kg per h) group (P < 0.05). The oxygenation of PFD and PFB was maintained good for 4 h, however, the PP4 group showed a fast deterioration since 2 h post-treatment due to fast dropping of the residual PP4 amount in lungs. Histology showed good alveolar integrity in the PFD and PFB groups.

Conclusions:  The effects of PLV are directly influenced by the evaporative property of the PFC liquid. With no replacement over 4 h, PLV effects could be maintained with utilizing a PFC liquid with low, rather than high, vapor pressure. PFC with high vapor pressure has a high loss rate and low residual volume that causes poor maintenance on oxygenation during PLV. Therefore, measuring PFC loss rate is important in future studies and clinical application of PLV.