Relation between structure, function, and imaging in a three-dimensional model of the lung

Ann Biomed Eng. 2003 Apr;31(4):363-73. doi: 10.1114/1.1557972.


Previous studies have reported morphometric models to predict function relations in the lung. These models, however, are not anatomically explicit. We have advanced a three-dimensional airway tree model to relate dynamic lung function to alterations in structure, particularly when constriction patterns are imposed heterogeneously inspecific anatomic locations. First we predicted the sensitivity of dynamic lung resistance and elastance (RL and EL) to explicit forms of potential constriction patterns. Simulations show that severe and heterogeneous peripheral airway constriction confined to a single region in the lung (apex, mid, or base) will not produce substantial alterations in whole lung properties as measured from the airway opening. Conversely, when measured RL and EL are abnormal, it is likely that significant (but not necessarily homogeneous) constriction has occurred throughout the entire airway tree. We also introduce the concept of image-assisted modeling. Here positron emission tomographic imaging data sensitive to ventilation heterogeneity is synthesized with RL and EL data to help identify which airway constriction conditions could be consistent with both data sets. An ultimate goal would be personalized predictions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Airway Resistance
  • Algorithms
  • Bronchi / anatomy & histology
  • Bronchi / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bronchi / physiopathology*
  • Bronchial Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bronchial Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Bronchoconstriction / physiology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Constriction, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Constriction, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Lung / anatomy & histology
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Compliance
  • Models, Biological*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods
  • Trachea