Distribution of pulmonary ventilation using Xe-enhanced computed tomography in prone and supine dogs

Catherine Marcucci, Daniel Nyhan, Brett A. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Xe-enhanced computed tomography (CT; Xe-CT) is a method for the noninvasive measurement of regional pulmonary ventilation in intact subjects, determined from the washin and washout rates of the radiodense, nonradioactive gas Xe, as measured in serial CT scans. We used the Xe-CT ventilation method, along with other quantitative CT measurements, to investigate the distribution of regional lung ventilation and air content in healthy, anesthetized, mechanically ventilated dogs in the prone and supine postures. Vertical gradients in regional ventilation and air content were measured in five mongrel dogs in both prone and supine postures at four axial lung locations. In the supine position, ventilation increased with dependent location, with a mean slope of 7.3%/cm lung height, whereas no ventilation gradients were found at any location in the prone position. These results agree quantitatively with other published studies. In addition, six different animals were studied (3 supine, 3 prone) to examine the longitudinal distribution of ventilation and air content. The prone lungs were more uniformly inflated compared with the supine, which were less well expanded at the base than apex. Ventilation index, a measure of regional ventilation relative to whole lung ventilation, increased steeply from apex to base in the supine animals, whereas it was again more uniform in the prone condition. We conclude that the Xe-CT method provides a reasonable, quantitative measurement of regional ventilation and promises to be a valuable tool for the noninvasive determination of regional lung function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Imaging
  • Lung mechanics
  • Lung volume
  • Tidal volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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