Regional lung density and blood volume in nonsmoking and smoking subjects measured by PET

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1987 Oct;63(4):1324-34. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1987.63.4.1324.


Regional lung density (DL) and regional fractional pulmonary blood volume (VB) were measured quantitatively during tidal breathing in 30 healthy supine subjects (15 smokers and 15 nonsmokers) in a 1.7-cm-thick midthoracic cross section using positron emission tomography (PET) and 11CO (inhaled)-labeled erythrocytes. Regional alveolar volume (VA), extravascular lung density (DEV), and relative alveolar size (Valv = VA/DEV) were calculated. For the nonsmokers, mean values (+/- SD between subjects) for the right lung were as follows: DL, 0.28 +/- 0.03 g/cm3; DEV, 0.10 +/- 0.02 g/cm3; and Valv, 7.1 +/- 1.9 ml/g lung tissue. In the smoking subjects DEV (right plus left lung) was 16% higher. No significant difference in VB between smokers and nonsmokers was found. The differences in DEV and VB between right and left lung were not significant. Mean values (+/- SD) of the dorsal-to-ventral ratios calculated for the right lung in the nonsmokers were as follows: DL, 1.34 +/- 0.16; VA, 0.90 +/- 0.05; VB, 1.52 +/- 0.26; DEV, 1.10 +/- 0.17; and Valv, 0.85 +/- 0.19. Almost identical ratios were found in the smokers. The influence of overall thoracic expansion was investigated in one subject restudied during voluntary hyperinflation and during positive end-expiratory pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / pathology
  • Blood Volume
  • Body Height
  • Female
  • Gravitation
  • Humans
  • Lung / anatomy & histology*
  • Lung / blood supply
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Smoking / pathology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*