Alveolar volume determined by single-breath helium dilution correlates with the high-resolution computed tomography-derived nonemphysematous lung volume

van der Lee, I., van Es, H. W., Noordmans, H. J., van den Bosch, J. M. M. & Zanen, P., 2006, In : Respiration. 73, 4, p. 468-473 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • I. van der Lee
  • H. W. van Es
  • H. J. Noordmans
  • J. M. M. van den Bosch
  • P. Zanen

Background: The alveolar volume (V(A)), determined by single-breath helium dilution, is a measure for the total lung capacity (TLC) that is very sensitive to ventilatory disturbances. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the emphysematous lung parts are less accessible to test gas; therefore, the V(A) is smaller than TLC measured by multiple-breath helium dilution (TLC(He)). Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the V(A) represents the nonemphysematous lung parts. Methods: We measured V(A) as part of the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DL(CO)), TLC He and spirometry in 50 patients with COPD. High-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scans of all subjects were analyzed with the density mask method, where parts with an attenuation of less than -950 Hounsfield units were considered as emphysematous. Results: A strong correlation was observed between the V(A) (mean 5.2 liters) and nonemphysematous HRCT lung volume (mean 5.2 liters, r(2) = 0.9) and between the TLC He (mean 6.6 liters) and total HRCT lung volume (mean 6.4 liters, r(2) = 0.9). Bland-Altman plots showed considerable disagreement between the V(A) and the nonemphysematous HRCT lung volume. A weak correlation between the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (mean 46% predicted) and DL(CO) (mean 46% predicted) versus the HRCT emphysema ratio (non-emphysematous/ total HRCT lung volume) was observed (R(2) = 0.3 and 0.3, respectively). Conclusion: We concluded that the V(A) correlates with the nonemphysematous HRCT lung volume, although the two measurements are not equivalent, possibly due to technical factors. Copyright (C) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • high-resolution computed tomography, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, alveolar volume, density mask, PULMONARY-FUNCTION TESTS, AIRWAY-OBSTRUCTION, EMPHYSEMA, CT, DENSITY, MORPHOMETRY, ATTENUATION, AREAS

ID: 4491114