3 July 1998 New technique to quantitate regional pulmonary microvascular transit times from dynamic x-ray CT images
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Microvascular red blood cell mean transit time is a crucial parameter underlying basic pulmonary physiology. Dynamic x-ray CT imaging during bolus radiopaque tracer injection offers the ability to make functional measurements throughout the lungs, but is not able to resolve individual microvascular beds. We have implemented a model-free Fast Fourier Transform deconvolution algorithm to extract the microvascular transport characteristics from the acquired time-intensity data. The deconvolved feeding arterial bolus input curves and corresponding regional pulmonary parenchymal 'response' functions provide measures of regional pulmonary tracer residence times, allowing calculation of microvascular transit times for different spatial regions of the pulmonary system. The acquired feeding (main) pulmonary artery and regional pulmonary parenchyma time-intensity curves were fit to gamma variate functions which were then sampled with a temporal resolution of 0.1 seconds. Deconvolution of the feeding arterial and regional parenchymal curves consistently results in bimodal regional residue functions. The two modes consist of a relatively large, sharp, narrow peak approximating a delta function followed by a smaller more dispersed curve. The sharp, narrow peak appears to be due to small artery inclusion in the sampled parenchymal region (partial volume effects). The magnitude of the dominant arterial peak decreases as sampling locations are moved from the less expanded dependent to the more expanded non-dependent lung regions of supine dogs. Mathematical separation of the two modes allowed isolation of the arterial and microvascular components. The shape and transit times of the putative microvascular components agree well with results from similar measurements via microfocal angiography and in vivo microscopy. Reconvolving the microvascular component with the input curve results in a corrected parenchymal curve representing the regional microvascular transport characteristics, free of arterial flow signal contamination. The corrected residue curves can then be used for non-invasive in vivo quantitation of regional organ microvascular transit times, volumes and flows in relation to the existing in vivo anatomy.
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Jehangir K. Tajik, Jehangir K. Tajik, Binh Q. Tran, Binh Q. Tran, Eric A. Hoffman, Eric A. Hoffman, "New technique to quantitate regional pulmonary microvascular transit times from dynamic x-ray CT images", Proc. SPIE 3337, Medical Imaging 1998: Physiology and Function from Multidimensional Images, (3 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.312583; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.312583

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