Is the predicted postoperative FEV1 estimated by planar lung perfusion scintigraphy accurate in patients undergoing pulmonary resection? Comparison of two processing methods

Ann Nucl Med. 2010 Jul;24(6):447-53. doi: 10.1007/s12149-010-0378-6. Epub 2010 Apr 9.


Background: Estimation of postoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) with radionuclide lung scintigraphy is frequently used to define functional operability in patients undergoing lung resection. We conducted a study to outline the reliability of planar quantitative lung perfusion scintigraphy (QLPS) with two different processing methods to estimate the postoperative lung function in patients with resectable lung disease.

Methods: Forty-one patients with a mean age of 57 +/- 12 years who underwent either a pneumonectomy (n = 14) or a lobectomy (n = 27) were included in the study. QLPS with Tc-99m macroaggregated albumin was performed. Both three equal zones were generated for each lung [zone method (ZM)] and more precise regions of interest were drawn according to their anatomical shape in the anterior and posterior projections [lobe mapping method (LMM)] for each patient. The predicted postoperative (ppo) FEV1 values were compared with actual FEV1 values measured on postoperative day 1 (pod1 FEV1) and day 7 (pod 7 FEV1).

Results: The mean of preoperative FEV1 and ppoFEV1 values was 2.10 +/- 0.57 and 1.57 +/- 0.44 L, respectively. The mean of Pod1FEV1 (1.04 +/- 0.30 L) was lower than ppoFEV1 (p < 0.0001) but increased on day 7 (1.31 +/- 0.32 L) (p < 0.0001); however, it never reached the predicted values. Zone and LMMs estimated mean ppoFEV1 as 1.56 +/- 0.45 and 1.57 +/- 0.44 L, respectively. Both methods overestimated the actual value by 50% (ZM), 51% (LMM) and 19% (ZM), 20% (LMM) for pod 1 and pod 7, respectively. This overestimation was more pronounced in patients with chronic lung disease and hilar tumors. No significant differences were observed between ppoFEV1 values estimated by ZM or by LMM (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: PpoFEV1 values predicted by both the zone and LMMs overestimated the actual measured lung volumes in patients undergoing pulmonary resection in the early postoperative period. LMM is not superior to ZM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Lung / surgery
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perfusion Imaging*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors