Regional lung function using xenon-133 was studied in 45 seated patients aged 11 to 78 years with untreated idiopathic scoliosis and angulation of curvature between 10 and 190°. Perfusion distribution was assessed by intravenous bolus injection of 133Xe and distribution of ventilation to volume ratios by washouts after inhalation and intravenous injection.
No consistent differences between the lungs on the convex and concave sides of the curvature were found. The lung bases were found to be more severely affected than the apices, perfusion and ventilation being progressively reduced with increasing deformity. There was evidence of inhomogeneity within regions and it is suggested that in younger patients the ventilation and perfusion within regions are better matched than in older patients.
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