Association Between RT-Induced Changes in Lung Tissue Density and Global Lung Function

Jinli Ma, Junan Zhang, Sumin Zhou, Jessica L. Hubbs, Rodney J. Foltz, Donna R. Hollis, Kim L. Light, Terence Z. Wong, Christopher R. Kelsey, Lawrence B. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the association between radiotherapy (RT)-induced changes in computed tomography (CT)-defined lung tissue density and pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Methods and Materials: Patients undergoing incidental partial lung RT were prospectively assessed for global (PFTs) and regional (CT and single photon emission CT [SPECT]) lung function before and, serially, after RT. The percent reductions in the PFT and the average changes in lung density were compared (Pearson correlations) in the overall group and subgroups stratified according to various clinical factors. Comparisons were also made between the CT- and SPECT-based computations using the Mann-Whitney U test. Results: Between 1991 and 2004, 343 patients were enrolled in this study. Of these, 111 patients had a total of 203 concurrent post-RT evaluations of changes in lung density and PFTs available for the analyses, and 81 patients had a total of 141 concurrent post-RT SPECT images. The average increases in lung density were related to the percent reductions in the PFTs, albeit with modest correlation coefficients (range, 0.20-0.43). The analyses also indicated that the association between lung density and PFT changes is essentially equivalent to the corresponding association with SPECT-defined lung perfusion. Conclusion: We found a weak quantitative association between the degree of increase in lung density as defined by CT and the percent reduction in the PFTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography
  • Lung density
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Radiation-induced lung injury
  • Single photon emission computed tomography-defined lung perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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