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Air Leaks Localized With Lung Ventilation SPECT

Ceulemans, Gaetane MD*; De Meirleir, Liesbeth MD; Keyaerts, Marleen MD, PhD*; Smets, Dirk MD; Verdries, Douwe MD§; Vincken, Walter MD, PhD; Everaert, Hendrik MD, PhD*

Clinical Nuclear Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e318263909a
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Abstract: A 61-year-old man with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease presented to our hospital with recurrence of a right-sided spontaneous secondary pneumothorax. Thoracoscopic abrasion of the parietal pleura was performed, but an important air leak persisted. Presumed to originate from a bulla in the right upper lobe, bullectomy and pleural decortication were performed, but leakage remained. Lobectomy was considered, and quantitative ventilation/perfusion SPECT was performed to predict the functional outcome.

Fused high-resolution CT/99mTc Technegas images localized leakage not only to a bleb in the right upper lobe but also to the subcutaneous emphysema in the thoracic wall. The air leak resolved after conservative treatment.

Author Information

From the Departments of *Nuclear Medicine, †Pneumology, ‡Thoracic Surgery, and §Department of Radiology, UZ Brussel, Laarbeeklaan, Brussels, Belgium.

Received for publication December 19, 2011; revision accepted May 30, 2012.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Gaetane Ceulemans, MD, Department of Nuclear Medicine, UZ Brussels, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.