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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 623684, 8 pages
Review Article

Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction in Humans

1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham HU16 5JQ, UK
2Department of Academic Medicine, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham HU16 5JQ, UK

Received 15 April 2013; Revised 4 July 2013; Accepted 22 July 2013

Academic Editor: Zsolt Bagi

Copyright © 2013 Priyadharshanan Ariyaratnam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction is the elegant theory put forward more than six decades ago to explain regional variations in perfusion within the lung in certain animal species in response to localised restrictions in oxygenation. Although considerable progress has been made to describe the phenomenon at the macroscopic level and explain it at the microscopic level, we are far from a universal agreement about the process in humans. This review attempts to highlight some of the important evidence bases of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction in humans and the significant gaps in our knowledge that would need bridging.