Quantitative radionuclide assessment of total pulmonary vascular volume changes

L. Bell, D. L. Rutlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Current techniques do not permit continuous and noninvasive assessments of changes in total pulmonary intravascular volume. Hence, the present study was undertaken to determine whether quantitative radionuclide imaging can be used to determine the direction and estimate the magnitude of total pulmonary vascular volume changes. The pulmonary circulation was separately perfused at a constant rate via the pulmonary artery and drained at a constant pressure via the left atrium in nine dogs. Changes in pulmonary intravascular volume were recorded as reciprocal changes in extracorporeal reservoir volume during phenylephrine or isoproterenol administration, a 20% increase in pulmonary artery flow or a 5 mmHg (1 mmHg = 133.32 Pa) decrease in left atrial pressure. Erythrocytes were labeled with technetium-99m and pulmonary volume changes were determined from tissue attenuation, blood radioactivity, and changes in total pulmonary radioactivity obtained with a γ-camera. During each of the interventions, count changes correlated with volume changes (r ≥ 0.75). The technique reliably detected volume changes as small as 10 mL. For all 531 individual pairs of radionuclide- and reservoir-determined volume changes, the correlation between reservoir-determined and radionuclide-estimated pulmonary intravascular volume changes was 0.87. The standard error of the radionuclide estimate was 21 mL. Hence, the present study demonstrates that quantitative radionuclide imaging can be used to continuously and noninvasively determine total pulmonary vascular volume changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-732
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • capacitance vasculature
  • intravascular volume
  • pulmonary circulation
  • radionuclide imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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