Lung Scintigraphy in COPD

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Ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy is a functional imaging biomarker that has the potential of captivating the heterogeneity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It specifically images the distribution of ventilation and perfusion within the lungs, which is a critical pathophysiological component of COPD. The extent of ventilation defects and ventilation inhomogeneity, as well as the ventilation-perfusion ratio distribution thus correlate with severity of disease. Furthermore, specific scintigraphic patterns, such as the "stripe sign" may detect centrilobular emphysematous lesions with a higher sensitivity than other imaging techniques. Although ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy may conceivably detect COPD before any specific changes can be detected by spirometry or high-resolution CT, it is currently mostly used in the workup of lung volume reduction treatment, and for diagnosing various complications and comorbidities of COPD when combined with low-dose CT.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeminars in Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • Comorbidity, Humans, Lung/diagnostic imaging, Organ Size, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications, Radionuclide Imaging/methods, Ventilation-Perfusion Scan

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