Measurement of lung expansion with computed tomography and comparison with quantitative histology

H. O. Coxson, J. R. Mayo, Hayedeh Behzad, B. J. Moore, L. M. Verburgt, C. A. Staples, P. D. Pare, J. C. Hogg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The total and regional lung volumes were estimated from computed tomography (CT), and the pleural pressure gradient was determined by using the milliliters of gas per gram of tissue estimated from the X-ray attenuation values and the pressure-volume curve of the lung. The data show that CT accurately estimated the volume of the resected lobe but overestimated its weight by 24 ± 19%. The volume of gas per gram of tissue was less in the gravity-dependent regions due to a pleural pressure gradient of 0.24 ± 0.08 cmH2O/cm of descent in the thorax. The proportion of tissue to air obtained with CT was similar to that obtained by quantitative histology. We conclude that the CT scan can be used to estimate total and regional lung volumes and that measurements of the proportions of tissue and air within the thorax by CT can be used in conjunction with quantitative histology to evaluate lung structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1525-1530
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • pulmonary physiology
  • stereology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this