What is the role of nuclear imaging in the evaluation of asthma?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Nuclear medicine technology has been used in the study of aerosol and particulate distribution in the airways. Technetium-99m DTPA radioaerosol lung scintigraphy is a classic technique that shows the extent of major airway distribution, peripheral distribution (depending on particle size), and absorption in the oronasal air passages. Technetium-99m radioaerosol has been used to show improved peripheral lung distribution of corticosteroid both in normal persons and in persons treating their asthma using dry-powder inhalers as opposed to pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) with a spacer device. Ventilation scanning with Technetium-99m DTPA has also been used as an indicator of ventilation defects in asthmatic children.

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