The Thorax

  • Michael J. O’Doherty
Part of the Developments in Nuclear Medicine book series (DNUM, volume 31)


There are few conditions in humans that affect most people in the population at some time during their lives, lung inflammation/infection is such a problem. Airways inflammation or infection are a major cause of morbidity and accounts for a large number of visits of patients to their primary care physician. The inflammatory reaction is associated with marked vascular change including hyperaemia and vascular leakiness leading to interstitial oedema. These responses to noxious insults to the lung may lead to damage of the epithelium and due to excess production of mucous and cells to deal with the injury, blockage of airways may occur. The type of initiating injury often determines the type of cellular infiltrate and the response of the individual may be excessive leading to other problems in the lung. The response may affect the airflow and therefore delivery of oxygen and perhaps medication. Therapy to the lungs is often appropriately given via the airways by metered dose inhaler or nebulisers, the mode of this delivery can be studied using radionuclides but is beyond the scope of this chapter and has been reviewed recently [1]. The mechanisms behind the clearance of secretions associated with inflammatory and infective diseases are a further area where nuclear medicine techniques have contributed to the understanding of disease processes. Nuclear medicine studies can therefore contribute to the topic of inflammation and infection in the thorax in terms of understanding pathology, disease progression and management as well as investigating methods to improve therapy.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Kawasaki Disease Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disease 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

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  • Michael J. O’Doherty

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