We measured the density variations of aortic blood from rabbits ventilated by a positive end inspiratory pressure of 6 mmHg or a negative box pressure of the same magnitude. When calculated from the density variations, the fluctuations in blood volume of the pulmonary capillaries within one cycle as induced by an intermittent positive pressure ventilation were found to be similar to the ones induced by an intermittent negative pressure ventilation. Using these volumetric fluctuations as a means to assess the transpulmonary pressure and the transmural pressure across the pulmonary capillaries, we conclude that the switching of the ventilation method did not alter the cyclic fluctuations of these pressures.

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