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Travetti, O*; Mocchi, C M*; Bagnoli, P; Anzani, T†‡; Fiore, G B; Monaco, A*; Addis, F*; Fumero, R; Acocella, F*; Costantino, M L; Di Giancamillo, M*

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bronco-alveolar filling time of perfluorocarbon (PFC) in rabbit, to measure its radiodensity and to establish its draining time, using helical-CT scan. Helical-CT images of the chest were acquired in 5 adult New Zealand white rabbits (3.2 ± 0.5 kg b.w.) under general anesthesia, with the following protocol: 120 kV, 175 mA, ST 1s; beam collimation/table increment/reconstruction interval 4/4/4 mm; lung/bone algorithm; 1500/1600WW, -300/-500 WL. Scans were obtained in respiratory apnea, at the end of expiration and at the end of inspiration, before and after tracheal administration of PFC FC77 (Fluorinert™, 3M, Belgium). The same protocol was repeated to evaluate the PFC draining time at 2', 30' and 60' min after the animals were re-connected to gas ventilation. Radiodensity of PFC, expressed in Hounsfield Unit, was measured in 4 regions of interest (0.4 cm2). Pulmonary lobes were homogeneously filled 10 min after PFC administration. Mean radiodensity of PFC ranged from 305 to 540 HU at the end of expiration and from 419 to 550 HU at the end of inspiration. After the animals were re-connected to gas ventilation the lung appeared almost completely empty after 60 min. The PFC showed fast bronco-alveolar filling time and excellent radiodensity, without giving beam hardening artifacts. Its characteristics associated to fast lower airways emptying, high solubility for oxygen and carbon dioxide, low surface tension, low pulmonary excretion, absence of adverse effect, could make PFC able to be employed as a contrast medium in thoracic radiological procedures.

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