Protein washdown as a defense mechanism against myocardial edema. Academic Article uri icon


  • Myocardial edema occurs in many pathological conditions. We hypothesized that protein washdown at the myocardial microvascular exchange barrier would change the distribution of interstitial proteins from large to small molecules and diminish the effect of washdown on the colloid osmotic pressure (COP) of interstitial fluid and lymph. Dogs were instrumented with coronary sinus balloon-tipped catheters and myocardial lymphatic cannulas to manipulate myocardial lymph flow and to collect lymph. Myocardial venous pressure was elevated by balloon inflation to increase transmicrovascular fluid flux and myocardial lymph flow. COP of lymph was measured directly and was also calculated from protein concentration. Decreases occurred in both protein concentration and COP of lymph. The proportion of lymph protein accounted for by albumin increased significantly, whereas that accounted for by beta-lipoprotein decreased significantly. The change in the calculated plasma-to-lymph COP gradient was significantly greater than the change in the measured COP gradient. We conclude that the change in the distribution of interstitial fluid protein species decreases the effect of protein washdown on interstitial fluid COP and limits its effectiveness as a defense mechanism against myocardial edema formation.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Stewart, R. H., Geissler, H. J., Allen, S. J., & Laine, G. A.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Stewart, RH||Geissler, HJ||Allen, SJ||Laine, GA

publication date

  • October 2000