Mechanical Signals for Compensatory Lung Growth Assessed by High Resolution Computed Tomography
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This dissertation involves the use of high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) to understand the role of intra-thoracic mechanical force and its distribution in regenerative growth in dogs i.e. to quantify lobar lung volumes and density gradients in normal and post-pneumonectomy (following lung resection) lungs. HRCT was used to quantitatively assess regional distribution of lung volume and density gradients among lobes of the lung in order to follow the expansion of remaining lobes following lung resection with a high degree of anatomical precision, and to determine the relationships between lung expansion and alveolar tissue growth. I also extended this work by relating regional lung expansion and growth assessed by radiology to regional alveolar tissue growth assessed by detailed quantitative histology under light and electron microscopy. This study illustrates for the first time a powerful and novel use of in vivo imaging to quantify regional lung distortion and changes in local volume, lung compliance as well as soft tissue density. These changes can be followed non-invasively and serially in a wide range of clinical and investigational applications, such as a) assessing the extent and progression of regional heterogeneity in lung disease or injury; b) assessing local response to treatment or surgical intervention; or c) assessing normal or abnormal patterns of lung growth.