Radionuclide Computerized Ventilation Studies

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Studies of regional lung function have developed rapidly in the last few years. Xenon-133 is the most frequently used isotope because of its physicochemical and biologic properties. Fixed counters are being replaced by the scintillation camera interfaced to a computer allowing easy acquisition and interpretation of results and numerical data. The use of isotopes other than 133Xe, such as 81 mKr, is less widespread. In this article, a method is described for studying regional ventilation in which the isotope used is 133Xe, the radioactivity is recorded by a scintillation camera, interfaced to a computer and six (or 12) regions for both lungs are selected and investigated. The regional ventilation is expressed as an absolute value in ml/min/ml of ventilated volume as well as the relative contribution in percent of each zone to the total ventilation and volume. To illustrate this method, the results are reported for healthy subjects and for patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Scintigraphs of individual cases are presented. Certain theoretic problems related to calculation of regional ventilation are discussed.

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