Accurate measures of changes in regional lung air volumes from chest x-rays of small animals

D. W. O’Connell, K. S. Morgan, G. Ruben, L. C.P. Croton, J. A. Pollock, M. K. Croughan, E. V. McGillick, M. J. Wallace, K. J. Crossley, E. J. Pryor, R. A. Lewis, S. B. Hooper, M. J. Kitchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective. To develop a robust technique for calculating regional volume changes within the lung from x-ray radiograph sequences captured during ventilation, without the use of computed tomography (CT). 

Approach. This technique is based on the change in transmitted x-ray intensity that occurs for each lung region as air displaces the attenuating lung tissue. 

Main results. Lung air volumes calculated from x-ray intensity changes showed a strong correlation (R 2 = 0.98) against the true volumes, measured from high-resolution CT. This correlation enables us to accurately convert projected intensity data into relative changes in lung air volume. We have applied this technique to measure changes in regional lung volumes from x-ray image sequences of mechanically ventilated, recently-deceased newborn rabbits, without the use of CT. 

Significance. This method is suitable for biomedical research studies,enabling quantitative regional measurement of relative lung air volumes at high temporal resolution, and shows great potential for future clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205002
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics in Medicine & Biology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022


  • dynamic imaging
  • lung air volume
  • lung imaging
  • pre-clinical imaging
  • x-ray attenuation

Cite this