A model of the lung interstitial-lymphatic system. Academic Article uri icon


  • Our model of the pulmonary interstitial-lymphatic system is based on the assumption that the lung interstitial space can be divided into two compartments. The first compartment (C1) contains the terminal lymph vessels. Increases in the fluid pressure within this compartment, along with increased pressure generated by lymph vessel pumping, cause the lymph flow rate to increase. The lymph vessels run through the second compartment (C2) which we believe represents the perivascular spaces. Increases in the fluid volume of C2 cause the lymph vessels to dilate and this causes lymph vessel resistance to decrease. Normally the lymph flow rate equals the microvascular filtration rate so that lung fluid volume is constant. According to our model, increases in filtration rate cause fluid to collect in C1 and C2. The resulting increase in fluid pressure in C1, increased lymph vessel pumping, and the decrease in lymph vessel resistance in C2 cause lymph flow to increase. Eventually, the lymph flow rises to equal the filtration rate and lung fluid volume becomes constant again. The results of simulations with our model indicate that decreases in lymph vessel resistance are essential for lymph flow to increase substantially as edema develops.

published proceedings

  • Microvasc Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Drake, R. E., Laine, G. A., Allen, S. J., Katz, J., & Gabel, J. C.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Drake, RE||Laine, GA||Allen, SJ||Katz, J||Gabel, JC

publication date

  • July 1987