In 29 perfusion lung scans (PLS) of 19 patients with ARDS, 20 of which here obtained within six days from the onset of respiratory symptoms. perfusion abnormalities were the rule. These included focal, nonsegmenlal defects, mostly peripheral and dorsal, and perfusion redistribution away from he dependent lung zones. PLS were scored for the presence and intensity of perfusion abnormalities and the scores of perfusion redistribution were validated against numerical indices of blood flow distribution per unit lung volume. PLS scores were correlated with arterial blood gas values, hemodynamic parameters, and chest radiographic scores of ARDS. Arterial oxygen tension correlated with the scores of both perfusion defects and redistribution. Perfusion defects correlaled better with the radiographic score of ARDS, and perfusion redistribution with PAP and vascular resistance. ARDS patients exhibit peculiar patterns of PLS abnormalities not observed in other disorders. Thus, PLS may help considerably in the detection and evaluation of pulmonary vascular injury in ARDS.
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