Role of endogenous histamine in altered lung mechanics in rabbits

Walid Habre, Barna Babik, Michel Chalier, Ferenc Peták

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Unlike the effects of exogenous histamine, those of endogenous histamine on the lung mechanics have not yet been characterized. The site of endogenous histamine liberation by mivacurium was determined, as were the effects of this histamine on the airway and parenchymal mechanics in control rabbits (group C) and rabbits pretreated with H1 and H2 receptor blockers (group AH). The effectiveness of the receptor blockade was ensured by challenges with exogenous histamine. Methods: Pulmonary input impedance at low frequencies (ZL) was measured in anesthetized mechanically ventilated open-chest rabbits under control conditions and every minute after administration of an intravenous bolus of mivacurium (2 mg/kg) and exogenous histamine (10 μg/kg). Histamine levels were determined in serum samples taken from the carotid artery and jugular vein before and 1, 3, and 6 min after mivacurium injection. Parameters of airway resistance (Raw) and inertance and parenchymal damping (G) and elastance (H) were extracted from ZL spectra. Results: Mivacurium induced significant increases in plasma histamine levels, with the venous concentrations being significantly higher than those in the artery. The mivacurium-induced increase in Raw (28.7 ± 2.3%; mean ± SD) in group C was significantly higher than that in group AH (6.6 ± 3.4%), whereas the responses in G were not inhibited significantly (23.9 ± 6.9% vs. 15.5 ± 3.0%). The significant increases in Raw (70.6 ± 12.6%) and G (21.0 ± 4.9%) after exogenous histamine administration were virtually completely abolished by antihistamine pretreatment (3.6 ± 3.7% and 0.3 ± 2.6%). Conclusions: After mivacurium administration, endogenous histamine is liberated at least partly in the systemic circulation, and it induces primarily a heterogeneous airway constriction with minor changes in the parenchymal properties. This response was considerably reduced but not abolished by antihistamine pretreatment, a circumstance suggesting that mivacurium may liberate other constrictor mediators that might also contribute to the airway and parenchymal constriction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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