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Physiology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Imaging Lung Function in Mice Using SPECT/CT and Per-Voxel Analysis
Published: Friday, August 03, 2012
Author: Brian N. Jobse et al.

by Brian N. Jobse, Rod G. Rhem, Cory A. J. R. McCurry, Iris Q. Wang, N. Renée Labiris

Chronic lung disease is a major worldwide health concern but better tools are required to understand the underlying pathologies. Ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with per-voxel analysis allows for non-invasive measurement of regional lung function. A clinically adapted V/Q methodology was used in healthy mice to investigate V/Q relationships. Twelve week-old mice were imaged to describe normal lung function while 36 week-old mice were imaged to determine how age affects V/Q. Mice were ventilated with Technegas™ and injected with 99mTc-macroaggregated albumin to trace ventilation and perfusion, respectively. For both processes, SPECT and CT images were acquired, co-registered, and quantitatively analyzed. On a per-voxel basis, ventilation and perfusion were moderately correlated (R?=?0.58±0.03) in 12 week old animals and a mean log(V/Q) ratio of -0.07±0.01 and standard deviation of 0.36±0.02 were found, defining the extent of V/Q matching. In contrast, 36 week old animals had significantly increased levels of V/Q mismatching throughout the periphery of the lung. Measures of V/Q were consistent across healthy animals and differences were observed with age demonstrating the capability of this technique in quantifying lung function. Per-voxel analysis and the ability to non-invasively assess lung function will aid in the investigation of chronic lung disease models and drug efficacy studies.