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Previous measurements of the washout of 133Xe from the lung have been confined largely to the determination of the clearance constant from the entire lung or from a number of specific sites. The present investigation demonstrates that a sufficient number of Xe washout curves can be simultaneously recorded so that a complete functional visualization of the lung can be described with a display of the disappearance constant at each site similar to a conventional scan of the distribution of radioactivity deposited in that organ. This object has been accomplished by calculating washout curves for each element of a scintillation camera field following perfusion of the lungs with dissolved 133Xe injected intravenously. Serial scans of the 133Xe distribution were obtained at time intervals sufficiently short so that the clearance rate could be established and the initial distribution determined. The Xe disappearance rates at each camera element were obtained by least-squares fitting of the logarithm of the counts collected at each element during the interval of each frame. In order to integrate visually the variation of clearance at each site, both numerical matrices and 3 dimensional models of initial distribution and disappearance constants have been utilized. While the spatial resolution of a functional scan cannot be expected to equal the resolution of a distribution scan, it is believed that the ability to present integrated information on a functional parameter of regional lung ventilation will provide a valuable tool for the diagnosis and evaluation of various abnormalities of this organ.
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Accepted: July 30, 1970
Received: December 8, 1969
☆This investigation was supported in part by National Heart Institute Grant HE-06304, National Institutes of Health, United States Public Health Service, and by the Joseph H. Thompson Foundation.
© 1970 Published by Elsevier Inc.