In spite of numerous abnormalities or non-experimental lesions in the rabbit certain facts can be considered as established. It has been known for many years that pneumonia is produced by the more or less prolonged inhalation of high partial pressures of oxygen. The studies herein reported show that atmospheres containing 80 to 96 per cent oxygen under normal barometric pressure produce in 24 hours, or more commonly 48 hours, congestion, edema, epithelial degeneration and desquamation, fibrin formation, and finally a pneumonia, probably of irritative origin and to be described as a fibrinous bronchopneumonia. The important new points are the time relations of these changes and definition of the type of the pneumonia.
Other studies have noted slight passive congestion, but it is now established that this is to be accounted for in most cases by dilatation of the right side or of both sides of the heart. This congestion affects all the abdominal viscera and is accompanied by certain secondary changes such as cloudy swelling of the parenchymatous organs and phagocytosis of erythrocytes by endothelial cells of the mesenteric lymph nodes.
Although deficiency of oxygen may affect the hematopoietic system, the animals subjected to high oxygen percentages failed to show any demonstrable pathologic changes in blood, spleen, lymph nodes, or bone marrow, except for the presence of congestion.
This study is the first of a comprehensive series projected in and under the direction of the Carnegie Nutrition Laboratory. Different animals and various methods of attack will be employed in the investigation.