Reduction of pulmonary compliance found with high-resolution computed tomography in irradiated mice

Thomas Guerrero, Richard Castillo, Josue Noyola-Martinez, Mylin Torres, Xinhui Zhou, Rudy Guerra, Dianna Cody, Ritsuko Komaki, Elizabeth Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: To demonstrate that high-resolution computed tomography (CT) can be used to quantify loss of pulmonary compliance in irradiated mice. Methods and Materials: Computed tomography images of three nonirradiated (controls) and three irradiated mice were obtained 200 days after a single dose of 16-Gy Co (60) thoracic irradiation. While intubated, each animal was imaged at static breath-hold pressures of 2, 10, and 18 cm H2O. A deformable image registration algorithm was used to calculate changes in air volume between adjacent-pressure CT image pairs (e.g., 2 and 10 cm H2O), and functional images of pulmonary compliance were generated. The mass-specific compliance was calculated as the change in volume divided by the pressure difference between the 2 image sets and the mass of lung tissue. Results: For the irradiated mice, the lung parenchyma mean CT values ranged from -314 (± 11) Hounsfield units (HU) to -378 (± 11) HU. For the control mice, the mean CT values ranged from -549 (± 11) HU to -633 (± 11) HU. Irradiated mice had a 60% (45, 74%; 95% confidence interval) lower mass-specific compliance than did the controls (0.039 [± 0.0038] vs. 0.106 [± 0.0038] mL air per cm H2O per g lung) from the 2-cm to 10-cm H2O CT image pair. The difference in compliance between groups was less pronounced at the higher distending pressures. Conclusion: High-resolution CT was used to quantify a reduction in mass-specific compliance following whole lung irradiation in mice. This small animal radiation injury model and assay may be useful in the study of lung injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-887
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography
  • Mouse model
  • Pulmonary injury
  • Thoracic radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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