BACKGROUND: Dynamic single-slice CT (dCT) is increasingly used to examine the intra-tidal, physiological variation in aeration and lung density in experimental lung injury. The ability of dCT to predict whole-lung values is unclear, especially for dual-energy CT (DECT) variables. Additionally, the effect of inspiration-related lung movement on CT variables has not yet been quantified. METHODS: Eight domestic pigs were studied under general anaesthesia, including four following saline-lavage surfactant depletion (lung injury model). DECT, dCT and whole-lung images were collected at 12 ventilatory settings. Whole-lung single energy scans images were collected during expiratory and inspiratory apnoeas at positive end-expiratory pressures from 0 to 20 cmH2O. Means and distributions of CT variables were calculated for both dCT and whole-lung images. The cranio-caudal displacement of the anatomical slice was measured from whole-lung images. RESULTS: Mean CT density and volume fractions of soft tissue, gas, iodinated blood, atelectasis, poor aeration, normal aeration and overdistension correlated between dCT and the whole lung (r2 0.75-0.94) with agreement between CT density distributions (r 0.89-0.97). Inspiration increased the matching between dCT and whole-lung values and was associated with a movement of 32% (SD 15%) of the imaged slice out of the scanner field-of-view. This effect introduced an artefactual increase in dCT mean CT density during inspiration, opposite to that caused by the underlying physiology. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, dCT closely approximates whole-lung aeration and density. This approximation is improved by inspiration where a decrease in CT density and atelectasis can be interpreted as physiological rather than artefactual.
Intensive Care Med Exp
Acute lung injury, Artificial, Contrast media, Respiration, Swine, Tomography, X-ray computed