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      Asynchrony in respiratory movements between the pulmonary lobes in patients with COPD: continuous measurement of lung density by 4-dimensional dynamic-ventilation CT

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          Four-dimensional dynamic-ventilation CT imaging demonstrates continuous movement of the lung. The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between interlobar synchrony in lung density and spirometric values in COPD patients and smokers, by measuring the continuous changes in lung density during respiration on the dynamic-ventilation CT.

          Materials and methods

          Thirty-two smokers, including ten with COPD, underwent dynamic-ventilation CT during free breathing. CT data were continuously reconstructed every 0.5 sec. Mean lung density (MLD) of the five lobes (right upper [RU], right middle [RM], right lower [RL], left upper [LU], and left lower [LL]) was continuously measured by commercially available software using a fixed volume of volume of interest which was placed and tracked on a single designated point in each lobe. Concordance between the MLD time curves of six pairs of lung lobes (RU-RL, RU-RM, RM-RL, LU-LL, RU-LU, and RL-LL lobes) was expressed by cross-correlation coefficients. The relationship between these cross-correlation coefficients and the forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity (FEV 1.0/FVC) values was assessed by Spearman rank correlation analysis.


          In all six pairs of the pulmonary lobes, the cross-correlation coefficients of the two MLD curves were significantly positively correlated with FEV 1.0/FVC (ρ =0.60–0.73, P<0.001). The mean value of the six coefficients strongly correlated with FEV 1.0/FVC (ρ =0.80, P<0.0001).


          The synchrony of respiratory movements between the pulmonary lobes is limited or lost in patients with more severe airflow limitation.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Complexity of terminal airspace geometry assessed by lung computed tomography in normal subjects and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          Increases in the low attenuation areas (LAA) of chest x-ray computed tomography images in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been reported to reflect the development of pathological emphysema. We examined the statistical properties of LAA clusters in COPD patients and in healthy subjects. In COPD patients, the percentage of the lung field occupied by LAAs (LAA%) ranged from 2.6 to 67.6. In contrast, LAA% was always <30% in healthy subjects. The cumulative size distribution of the LAA clusters followed a power law characterized by an exponent D. We show that D is a measure of the complexity of the terminal airspace geometry. The COPD patients with normal LAA% had significantly smaller D values than the healthy subjects, and the D values did not correlate with pulmonary function tests except for the diffusing capacity of the lung. We interpret these results by using a large elastic spring network model and find that the neighboring smaller LAA clusters tend to coalesce and form larger clusters as the weak elastic fibers separating them break under tension. This process leaves LAA% unchanged whereas it decreases the number of small clusters and increases the number of large clusters, which results in a reduction in D similar to that observed in early emphysema patients. These findings suggest that D is a sensitive and powerful parameter for the detection of the terminal airspace enlargement that occurs in early emphysema.
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            Hyperpolarized 3He and 129Xe MR imaging in healthy volunteers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            To quantitatively compare hyperpolarized helium 3 (3He) and xenon 129 (129Xe) magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained within 5 minutes in healthy volunteers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and to evaluate the correlations between 3He and 129Xe MR imaging measurements and those from spirometry and plethysmography. This study was approved by an ethics board and compliant with HIPAA. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects. Eight healthy volunteers and 10 patients with COPD underwent MR imaging, spirometry, and plethysmography. Ventilation defect percentages (VDPs) at 3He and 129Xe imaging were obtained by using semiautomated segmentation. Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) were calculated from 3He (b=1.6 sec/cm2) and 129Xe (b=12 sec/cm2) diffusion-weighted images. VDPs at hyperpolarized 3He and 129Xe imaging were compared with a two-tailed Wilcoxon signed rank test and analysis of variance; Pearson correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the relationships among measurements. 129Xe VDP was significantly greater than 3He VDP for patients with COPD (P<.0001) but not for healthy volunteers (P=.35), although 3He and 129Xe VDPs showed a significant correlation for all subjects (r=0.91, P<.0001). The forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) showed a similar and significant correlation with 3He VDP (r=-0.84, P<.0001) and 129Xe VDP (r=-0.89, P<.0001), although the correlation between the FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio and 129Xe VDP (r=-0.95, P<.0001) was significantly greater (P=.01) than that for FEV1/FVC and 3He VDP (r=-0.84, P<.0001). A significant correlation was also observed for 3He and 129Xe ADC (r=0.97, P<.0001); 129Xe ADC was significantly correlated with diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide (r=-0.79, P=.03) and computed tomographic emphysema measurements (areas with attenuation values in the 15th percentile: r=-0.91, P=.0003; relative areas with attenuation values of less than -950 HU: r=0.87, P=.001). In patients with COPD, the VDP obtained with hyperpolarized 29Xe MR imaging was significantly greater than that with 3He MR imaging, suggesting incomplete or delayed filling of lung regions that may be related to the different properties of 129Xe gas and physiologic and/or anatomic abnormalities in COPD. © RSNA, 2012
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              Collapsibility of lung volume by paired inspiratory and expiratory CT scans: correlations with lung function and mean lung density.

              To evaluate the relationship between measurements of lung volume (LV) on inspiratory/expiratory computed tomography (CT) scans, pulmonary function tests (PFT), and CT measurements of emphysema in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Forty-six smokers (20 females and 26 males; age range 46-81 years), enrolled in the Lung Tissue Research Consortium, underwent PFT and chest CT at full inspiration and expiration. Inspiratory and expiratory LV values were automatically measured by open-source software, and the expiratory/inspiratory (E/I) ratio of LV was calculated. Mean lung density (MLD) and low attenuation area percent (<-950 HU) were also measured. Correlations of LV measurements with lung function and other CT indices were evaluated by the Spearman rank correlation test. LV E/I ratio significantly correlated with the following: the percentage of predicted value of forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV(1)), the ratio of FEV(1) to forced vital capacity (FVC), and the ratio of residual volume (RV) to total lung capacity (TLC) (FEV(1)%P, R = -0.56, P < .0001; FEV(1)/FVC, r = -0.59, P < .0001; RV/TLC, r = 0.57, P < .0001, respectively). A higher correlation coefficient was observed between expiratory LV and expiratory MLD (r = -0.73, P < .0001) than between inspiratory LV and inspiratory MLD (r = -0.46, P < .01). LV E/I ratio showed a very strong correlation to MLD E/I ratio (r = 0.95, P < .0001). LV E/I ratio can be considered to be equivalent to MLD E/I ratio and to reflect airflow limitation and air-trapping. Higher collapsibility of lung volume, observed by inspiratory/expiratory CT, indicates less severe conditions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Copyright 2010 AUR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                20 July 2017
                : 12
                : 2101-2109
                [1 ]Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Radiology, Ohara General Hospital, Fukushima-City, Fukushima, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Radiology, St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
                [4 ]Department of Radiology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Shiga, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Tsuneo Yamashiro, Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, University of the Ryukyus, 207 Uehara, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0215, Japan, Tel +81 98 895 1162, Fax +81 98 895 1420, Email clatsune@
                © 2017 Yamashiro et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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