Fleming, John S., Sauret, Veronique, Conway, Joy H. and Martonen, Ted B.
Validation of the conceptual anatomical model of the lung airway
Journal of Aerosol Medicine, 17, (3), . (doi:10.1089/jam.2004.17.260).
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The conceptual anatomical model of the lung airway considers each lung volume divided into ten concentric shells. It specifies the volume of each airway generation in each shell, using Weibel morphometry. This study updates and validates the model and evaluates the errors obtained when using it to estimate inhaled aerosol deposition per generation from spatial imaging data. A comparison of different airway models describing the volume per generation, including data from CT images of a lung cast and a human subject, was performed. A revised version of the conceptual model was created, using the average volume per generation from these data. The new model was applied to derive the aerosol deposition per generation from 24 single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies. Analysis errors were assessed by applying the same calculations but using airway models based on the minimum and maximum volumes per generation. The mean shell position of each generation in the average model was not significantly different from either CT model. However there were differences between the volumes per generation of the different models. The root mean square differences between bronchial airways deposition fraction (generations 2–8) obtained from the maximum and minimum models compared to the new average model was 0.66 percentage points (14%). For the conducting airways deposition fraction (generations 2–15) this was 1.66 percentage points (12%). The conceptual model is consistent with CT measurements of airway geometry. The errors resulting from using a generic airway model to interpret 3D radionuclide image data have been defined.
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