Beck, K. C. Regional trapping of microspheres in the lung compares well with regional blood flow. J Appl Physiol. 63:883-9, 1987.
Microspheres (MS) are often used to measure the distribution of pulmonary blood flow in the assumption that the number of MS trapped in a region is proportional to blood flow. However, regional distribution of trapped MS has not been directly compared with regional blood flow in the lung. Regional trapping of MS was compared with regional flow of erythrocytes (RBC's) in isolated, perfused left lungs of dogs. Radioactivity from labeled MS and RBC's was measured by external detection using a gamma camera. We defined six regions of interest in the image of the left lateral surface of the lung: a dorsocaudal, a caudal, two ventral, an apical, and a central region. In each lung, regional trapping of MS was measured from the image of radioactivity obtained after slow injection of a suspension of MS into the arterial perfusion tubing. A radioactive bolus of labeled RBC's was injected during rapid imaging of the lung to obtain radioactivity vs. time curves from each region. The peaks of the regional radioactivity vs. time curves were used to estimate regional flows, though compensation had to be made for overlap of the washout and washin phases of the bolus of labeled RBC's. The results indicated that there were no differences in the regional distribution of MS compared with the regional distribution of RBC flow in isolated, perfused dog lungs.