• The use of prostaglandins is currently undergoing clinical trials in respiratory failure accompanying sepsis. The effect of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and prostacyclin (PGI2) infusion on endotoxin-induced lung injury, with attention to interstitial fluid flux (QL), pulmonary vascular pressure (P[unk]), leukocytes, platelets, and release of the lysosomal enzyme β-glucuronidase, was investigated. A chronic lung lymph fistula model in sheep was used. Seven sheep alternately received Escherichia coli endotoxin and endotoxin plus PGE1 at a dosage of 1 μg/kg/min. Six sheep received PGI2 (0.2 μg/kg/min) instead of PGE1. Both PGE1 and PGI2 decreased the pulmonary hypertension and the interstitial edema produced by endotoxin primarily through their vasodilatory properties. Prostacyclin seemed to have an additional membrane-stabilizing effect. A rebound increase in QL, P[unk], and platelets occurred when PGE1 or PGI2 infusion was discontinued.
(Arch Surg 1982;117:175-180)