Radiation-Induced Reductions in Regional Lung Perfusion: 0.1-12 Year Data From a Prospective Clinical Study

Junan Zhang, Jinli Ma, Sumin Zhou, Jessica L. Hubbs, Terence Z. Wong, Rodney J. Folz, Elizabeth S. Evans, Ronald J. Jaszczak, Robert Clough, Lawrence B. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the time and regional dependence of radiation therapy (RT)-induced reductions in regional lung perfusion 0.1-12 years post-RT, as measured by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) lung perfusion. Materials/Methods: Between 1991 and 2005, 123 evaluable patients receiving RT for tumors in/around the thorax underwent SPECT lung perfusion scans before and serially post-RT (0.1-12 years). Registration of pre- and post-RT SPECT images with the treatment planning computed tomography, and hence the three-dimensional RT dose distribution, allowed changes in regional SPECT-defined perfusion to be related to regional RT dose. Post-RT follow-up scans were evaluated at multiple time points to determine the time course of RT-induced regional perfusion changes. Population dose response curves (DRC) for all patients at different time points, different regions, and subvolumes (e.g., whole lungs, cranial/caudal, ipsilateral/contralateral) were generated by combining data from multiple patients at similar follow-up times. Each DRC was fit to a linear model, and differences statistically analyzed. Results: In the overall groups, dose-dependent reductions in perfusion were seen at each time post-RT. The slope of the DRC increased over time up to 18 months post-RT, and plateaued thereafter. Regional differences in DRCs were only observed between the ipsilateral and contralateral lungs, and appeared due to tumor-associated changes in regional perfusion. Conclusions: Thoracic RT causes dose-dependent reductions in regional lung perfusion that progress up to ∼18 months post-RT and persists thereafter. Tumor shrinkage appears to confound the observed dose-response relations. There appears to be similar dose response for healthy parts of the lungs at different locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Lung
  • Radiation injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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