We tried to simultaneously obtain the elimination constant of mucociliary clearance and the pulmonary epithelial permeability constant after inhalation of 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18FDG) solution by carrying out whole lung positron emission tomography and a rectilinear scan in rabbit experiments. The elimination constant of pulmonary epithelial permeability was obtained from the decrease in the amount of the radioactivity with time in the region of interest (ROI) confined to the lungs, trachea and tracheal cannula in the rectilinear scan. The total elimination constant of the radioactivity in the lungs was obtained from the ROI confined to the lungs in the tomography. The mucociliary clearance rate constant in the lungs was then obtained after subtracting the elimination constant of the pulmonary epithelial permeability from the total elimination constant of the 18FDG in the lungs. The mucociliary clearance constant in the trachea was calculated from the residual radioactivity in the trachea and the mucociliary clearance constant in the lungs. The mean pulmonary epithelial permeability constant was 0.0020% min-1 obtained from the rectilinear scan. The mean mucociliary clearance constants of the lungs and the trachea were 0.0006 and 0.025% min-1, respectively. These results indicated that the pulmonary epithelial permeability and mucociliary clearance could be evaluated simultaneously with 18FDG by using three- dimensional positron emission tomography and a rectilinear scan.
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