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ABSTRACT: Three-dimensional (3D) radionuclide imaging provides detailed information on the distribution of inhaled aerosol material within the body. Analysis of the data can provide estimates of the deposition per airway generation. In this study, two different nebulizers have been used to deliver radiolabeled aerosols of different particle size to 12 human subjects. Medical imaging has been used to assess the deposition in the body. The deposition pattern has also been estimated using the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) empirical model and compared to values obtained by experiment. The results showed generally good agreement between model and experiment for both aerosols for the deposition in the extrathoracic and conducting airways. However, there were significant differences in the fate of the remainder of the aerosol between the amount deposited in the alveolar region and that exhaled. The inter-subject variability of deposition predicted by the model was significantly less than that measured, for all regions of the body. The model predicted quite well the differences in deposition distribution pattern between the two aerosols. In conclusion, this study has shown that the ICPR model of inhaled aerosol deposition shows areas of good agreement with results from experiment. However, there are also areas of disagreement, which may be explained by hygroscopic particle growth and individual variation in airway anatomy.
Journal of Aerosol Medicine 02/2006; 19(3):268-78. · 1.61 Impact Factor