Computed Tomographic Lung Density in Children

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The effects of patient age, anatomic level, anteroposterior location, and phase of respiration on pulmonary density were analyzed retrospectively in 33 children and prospectively in 13 children. Density standards were positioned on the chest wall for correction of scanner performance changes. The subgroup of 32 children over 7 years of age, ie, with respiratory cooperation, was analyzed separately using moderate inspiration; its mean lung density (MLD) of three levels was -792 HU (95% range, -702-882 HU). Although MLD decreased with increasing age, a significant linear regression was found only in the prospective subgroup. Densities of the apical, subcarinal, and basal levels of the lung were not different. From maximal expiration to maximal inspiration, MLD decreased by 158 HU in the subgroup studied prospectively. Anteroposterior density gradients averaged 56 HU at the subcarinal level and increased with maximal expiration.

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