Xenon-133 ventilation study were used to measure regional ventilation in seven patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis and in four normal subjects. For the purpose of analyzing the washout curves on the whole lungs, two ventilation indexes were calculated, which were TA/H and T1/2. TA/H is that the area under the curve divided by the difference in mean count rate during equilibrium and at 120 s after washout started. T1/2 value represents the time required to 50% of the mean count rate during equilibrium. The average time of TA/H on the whole lung was 13.5 +/- 1.1 s in normal subjects (n = 4), 13.0 +/- 4.3 s in stage I (bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy without lung involvement on chest X-ray) sarcoidosis (n = 3), 21.3 +/- 1.8 s in stages I, II (lung involvement) sarcoidosis (n = 4). The average time of T1/2 on the whole lung was 43.7 +/- 4.7 s in normal subjects, 42.3 +/- 16.0 s in stagel sarcoidosis, 72.5 +/- 28.6 s stages II, III sarcoidosis. The ventilation indexes on the regional lungs showed almost a similar tendency to that on the whole lung. The ventilation indexes in patients with stage II, III sarcoidosis were significantly longer than in normal subjects and in patients with stage I sarcoidosis. It was suggested that 133Xe washout test might detect regional ventilation abnormalities which were not recognized on chest X-ray in pulmonary sarcoidosis.
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