Pulmonary Arterial Morphometry from Microfocal X-Ray Computed Tomography

Document Type




Format of Original

10 p.

Publication Date



American Physiological Society

Source Publication

American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology

Source ISSN



The objective of this study was to develop an X-ray computed tomographic method for pulmonary arterial morphometry. The lungs were removed from a rat, and the pulmonary arterial tree was filled with perfluorooctyl bromide to enhance X-ray absorbance. At each of four pulmonary arterial pressures (30, 21, 12, and 5.4 mmHg), the lungs were rotated within the cone of the X-ray beam that was projected from a microfocal X-ray source onto an image intensifier, and 360 images were obtained at 1° increments. The three-dimensional image volumes were reconstructed with isotropic resolution with the use of a cone beam reconstruction algorithm. The luminal diameter and distance from the inlet artery were measured for the main trunk, its immediate branches, and several minor trunks. These data revealed a self-consistent tree structure wherein the portion of the tree downstream from any vessel of a given diameter has a similar structure. Self-consistency allows the entire tree structure to be characterized by measuring the dimensions of only the vessels comprising the main trunk of the tree and its immediate branches. An approach for taking advantage of this property to parameterize the morphometry and distensibility of the pulmonary arterial tree is developed.


American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, Vol. 281, No. 6 (December 2001): H2747-H2756. Permalink.