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Applications and interpretation of krypton 81m ventilation/technetium 99m macroaggregate perfusion lung scanning in childhood

Davies, Hugh Trevor Frimston; (1990) Applications and interpretation of krypton 81m ventilation/technetium 99m macroaggregate perfusion lung scanning in childhood. Doctoral thesis (M.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Radionuclide ventilation perfusion lung scans now play an important part in the investigation of paediatric lung disease, providing a safe, noninvasive assessment of regional lung function in children with suspected pulmonary disease. In paediatric practice the most suitable radionuclides are Krypton 81m (Kr81m) and Technetium 99m (Tc99m), which are jointly used in the Kr81m ventilation/Tc99m macroaggregate perfusion lung scan (V/Q lung scan). The Kr81m ventilation scan involves a low radiation dose, requires little or no subject cooperation and because of the very short half life of Kr81m (13 seconds) the steady state image acquired during continuous inhalation of the radionuclide is considered to reflect regional distribution of ventilation. It is now the most important noninvasive method available for the investigation of the regional abnormalities of ventilation characteristic of many congenital and acquired paediatric respiratory diseases, such as diaphragmatic hernia, pulmonary sequestration, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, foreign body inhalation and bronchiectasis. It improves diagnostic accuracy, aids clinical decision making and is used to monitor the progress of disease and response to therapy. Theoretical analysis of the steady state Kr81m ventilation image suggests that it may only reflect regional ventilation when specific ventilation (ventilation per unit volume of lung) is within or below the normal adult range (1-3 L/L/min). At higher values such as those seen in neonates and infants (8-15 L/L/min) Kr81m activity may reflect regional lung volume rather than ventilation, a conclusion supported by the studies of Ciofetta et al. There is some controversy on this issue as animal studies have demonstrated that the Kr81m image reflects ventilation over a much wider range of specific ventilation (up to 13 L/L/min). A clinical study of sick infants and very young children is in agreement with this animal work and suggests that the steady state Kr81m image still reflects regional ventilation in this age group. The doubt cast on the interpretation of the Kr81m steady state image could limit the value of V/Q lung scans in following regional lung function through childhood, a period when specific ventilation is falling rapidly as the child grows. Therefore the first aim of this study was to examine the application of this theoretical model to children and determine whether the changing specific ventilation seen through childhood significantly alters the interpretation of the steady state Kr81m image. This is a necessary first step before conducting longitudinal studies of regional ventilation and perfusion in children. The effect of posture on regional ventilation and perfusion in the adult human lung has been extensively studied. Radiotracer studies have consistently shown that both ventilation and perfusion are preferentially distributed to dependent lung regions during tidal breathing regardless of posture. There is little published information concerning the pattern in children yet there are many differences in lung and chest wall mechanics of children and adults which, along with clinical observation, have led to the hypothesis that the pattern of regional ventilation observed in adults may not be seen in children. Recent reports of regional ventilation in infants and very young children have provided support for this theory. The paper of Heaf et al demonstrated that these differences may in certain circumstances be clinically important. It is not clear however at what age children adopt the "adult pattern of ventilation". In addition to the problems referred to above, attenuation of Kr81m activity as it passes through the chest wall and the changing geometry of the chest during tidal breathing have made quantitative analysis of the image difficult although fractional ventilation and perfusion to each lung can be calculated from the steady state image. In clinical practise, therefore, ventilation and perfusion are usually assessed by inspection of the steady state image. The aims of the present study were therefore: 1. To critically assess Kr81m ventilation and Tc99m MAA perfusion images in children. 2. To derive fractional ventilation and perfusion to each lung in children with normal chest radiography and homogeneous distribution of the radionuclides. 3. To conduct further studies into the effects of gravity on regional lung function. 4. To apply the technique in clinical practise. 5. To attempt to improve quantitation of the Kr81m ventilation image.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: M.D
Title: Applications and interpretation of krypton 81m ventilation/technetium 99m macroaggregate perfusion lung scanning in childhood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Pure sciences; Health and environmental sciences; Lung function
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122835
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