Computed tomography studies of lung mechanics

Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2005;2(6):517-21, 506-7. doi: 10.1513/pats.200507-076DS.


The study of lung mechanics has progressed from global descriptions of lung pressure and volume relationships to the high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative measurement of dynamic regional mechanical properties and displacements. X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging is ideally suited to the study of regional lung mechanics in intact subjects because of its high spatial and temporal resolution, correlation of functional data with anatomic detail, increasing volumetric data acquisition, and the unique relationship between CT density and lung air content. This review presents an overview of CT measurement principles and limitations for the study of regional mechanics, reviews some of the early work that set the stage for modern imaging approaches and impacted the understanding and management of patients with acute lung injury, and presents evolving novel approaches for the analysis and application of dynamic volumetric lung image data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*