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Phys Med Biol. 2005 Jan 7;50(1):1-11.

Quantitative measurement of regional lung gas volume by synchrotron radiation computed tomography.

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European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, F-38043 Grenoble, France.


The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of a novel respiration-gated spiral synchrotron radiation computed tomography (SRCT) technique for direct quantification of absolute regional lung volumes, using stable xenon (Xe) gas as an inhaled indicator. Spiral SRCT with K-edge subtraction using two monochromatic x-ray beams was used to visualize and directly quantify inhaled Xe concentrations and airspace volumes in three-dimensional (3D) reconstructed lung images. Volume measurements were validated using a hollow Xe-filled phantom. Spiral images spanning 49 mm in lung height were acquired following 60 breaths of an 80% Xe-20% O2 gas mixture, in two anaesthetized and mechanically ventilated rabbits at baseline and after histamine aerosol inhalation. Volumetric images of 20 mm lung sections were obtained at functional residual capacity (FRC) and at end-inspiration. 3D images showed large patchy filling defects in peripheral airways and alveoli following histamine provocation. Local specific lung compliance was calculated based on FRC/end-inspiration images in normal lung. This study demonstrates spiral SRCT as a new technique for direct determination of regional lung volume, offering possibilities for non-invasive investigation of regional lung function and mechanics, with a uniquely high spatial resolution. An example of non-uniform volume distribution in rabbit lung following histamine inhalation is presented.

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