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Abstract Background Dynamic single-slice CT (dCT) is increasingly used to examine the intra-tidal, physiological variation in aeration and lung density in experimental lung injury. The ability of dCT to predict whole-lung values is unclear, especially for dual-energy CT (DECT) variables. Additionally, the effect of inspiration-related lung movement on CT variables has not yet been quantified. Methods Eight domestic pigs were studied under general anaesthesia, including four following saline-lavage surfactant depletion (lung injury model). DECT, dCT and whole-lung images were collected at 12 ventilatory settings. Whole-lung single energy scans images were collected during expiratory and inspiratory apnoeas at positive end-expiratory pressures from 0 to 20 cmH2O. Means and distributions of CT variables were calculated for both dCT and whole-lung images. The cranio-caudal displacement of the anatomical slice was measured from whole-lung images. Results Mean CT density and volume fractions of soft tissue, gas, iodinated blood, atelectasis, poor aeration, normal aeration and overdistension correlated between dCT and the whole lung (r2 0.75–0.94) with agreement between CT density distributions (r 0.89–0.97). Inspiration increased the matching between dCT and whole-lung values and was associated with a movement of 32% (SD 15%) of the imaged slice out of the scanner field-of-view. This effect introduced an artefactual increase in dCT mean CT density during inspiration, opposite to that caused by the underlying physiology. Conclusions Overall, dCT closely approximates whole-lung aeration and density. This approximation is improved by inspiration where a decrease in CT density and atelectasis can be interpreted as physiological rather than artefactual.

Original publication




Journal article


Intensive Care Medicine Experimental


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date