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Until 10 years ago, not much attention was paid to the nonrespiratory functions of the lungs. True, it had been known since 1925 that studies of the isolated heart were destined to be short-lived unless the lungs were included in the circulation. Also, experience and common sense dictated that the lungs had to be involved in anticoagulation. Wasn't the lung rich in heparin? Didn't emboli gradually resolve? Moreover, all sorts of investigations had shown that the lung contained mast cells, loaded with mysterious humors, that were prepared to discharge their contents upon proper provocation.
Full appreciation of the nonrespiratory potential
Metabolic Functions of the Lung.. Ann Intern Med. ;87:642. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-87-5-642_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(5):642.
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