Alterations in regional lung function due to respiratory infection have a significant effect on the deposition of inhaled treatments. This has consequences for treatment effectiveness and hence recovery of lung function. In order to advance our understanding of respiratory infection and inhaled treatment delivery, we must develop imaging techniques that can provide regional functional measurements of the lung.
In this review, we explore the role of functional imaging for the assessment of respiratory infection and development of inhaled treatments. We describe established and emerging functional lung imaging methods. The effect of infection on lung function is described, and the link between regional disease, function, and inhaled treatments is discussed. The potential for lung function imaging to provide unique insights into the functional consequences of infection, and its treatment, is also discussed.