Frequency dependence of regional lung clearance of 133Xe in normal men

R. S. Kronenberg, Douglas Wangensteen, R. A. Ponto

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We measured the one-half time of 133Xe washout from the whole lung and from 9 horizontal lung regions in 6 normal men during normal breathing and at 50 breaths/min. The diaphragm was located with a contour map prior to the selection of the 9 horizontal regions. Artifacts caused by the tissue solubility of 133Xe were reduced by expressing regional clearance relative to whole lung clearance. During normal breathing there was a progressive increase in the relative clearance of 133Xe from the lung apex to the base when each region was compared to the lung as a whole. At 50 breaths/min, relative clearance increased from the lung apex only for about 18.5 to 20 cm. At that point, the relative clearance rate of the horizontal regions began to fall and at the lung base was slower than that of the whole lung. These results are consistent with the concept that dependent lung regions have longer time constants than regions at the top of the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-303
Number of pages11
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1976

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1 This study was supported by a grant from the Minnesota Lung Association and by NIH Grant RR-267. Dr. Kronenberg is supported by Research Career Development Award 5KO4-HL70356 from the National Heart and Lung Institute.


  • Breathing frequency
  • Regional ventilation Pulmonary washout
  • Xenon


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