A technique is described for the investigation of regional lung function in infants and children using 13N and a gamma camera. Boluses of isotopic gas are inhaled and perfused while the lung fields are scanned. The child is lightly sedated and breathes normally throughout. Regional function is assessed in terms of the distribution of gas and blood, and the balance between ventilation and perfusion is estimated by comparing an index of the ventilation per unit volume of ventilated lung with that of perfused lung. The use of the method in 8 infants and children with different clinical problems is described to show its application. The method is capable of defining the severity and localization of any abnormality and may also be useful in showing normal function in suspect areas.
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