Author(s): Hakim TS, Lisbona R, Dean GW
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Abstract Single-photon emission computerized tomography of the lung with 99mTc-labeled human albumin macroaggregates (99mTc-MAA) was used in six healthy subjects to study the three-dimensional distribution of pulmonary blood flow. 99mTc-MAA was injected while the subjects were resting in the supine position and holding their lung volume at normal end expiration. Tomography was performed on each subject from 120 projections of radioactivity in the lungs acquired with a rotating gamma camera. To minimize lung motion artifacts, the subjects were asked to hold their breath at end expiration during the 10-s duration of data acquisition in each projectional angle. Perfusion images of lung slices (11 mm thick) were reconstructed, and the radioactivity within each slice was expressed per unit lung volume of 3.7 X 3.7 X 11 mm. Perfusion images of a midcoronal slice from each subject manifested a concentric pattern of radioactivity that decreased significantly from the center to the periphery, suggesting that blood flow rate per unit lung volume was up to 10 times larger near the central region. This gradient in activity between the center and the periphery of the coronary slices was gravity independent as the subjects were supine. Images of sagittal slices from the middle of the right lung also manifested a similar pattern of concentric gradient in activity, with the vertical distribution (gravity related) almost comparable with the horizontal distribution (gravity independent). These results indicate that pulmonary blood flow in resting supine humans is spatially stratified with a marked central-to-peripheral gradient in all directions. It appears that zone 4 (reduced blood flow) is not a phenomenon limited to the dependent region of the lung as commonly thought but rather is a manifestation of this spatial distribution whereby blood flow is lowest in all peripheral regions of the lung.
This article was published in J Appl Physiol (1985)
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology