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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Jan;143(1):150-4.

A positron emission tomographic comparison of pulmonary vascular permeability during the adult respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


We measured extravascular density (EVD) and the pulmonary transcapillary escape rate (PTCER) for 68Ga-transferrin using positron emission tomography in 14 normal volunteers and 29 patients with radiographic infiltrates, including six patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), eight patients with the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and 15 patients with focal pneumonia. Contralateral, radiographically normal regions were also evaluated in the patients with focal pneumonia. Mean EVD was elevated in the patients with CHF, ARDS, and pneumonia in regions of radiographic infiltrate compared with values from normal subjects (p less than 0.05), but it was not significantly different among the three patient groups. PTCER in normal subjects and in patients with CHF was not significantly different (21 +/- 11 versus 44 +/- 16 x 10(-4) min-1, respectively, p = NS). PTCER was elevated in regions of infiltrate because of either pneumonia (173 +/- 99) or ARDS (170 +/- 79). PTCER was also elevated in regions contralateral to those with focal infiltrate during pneumonia, even though these regions were radiographically normal and had normal EVD values. These results suggest that PTCER is a sensitive but nonspecific index of abnormal pulmonary vascular permeability, which may be useful for classifying patients in clinical studies of pulmonary edema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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