"This is the first concise state-of-the-art review of stereological methods for lung morphometry that formulates practical guidelines for the use of advanced imaging techniques," said ATS past president, John Heffner, M.D. "The proposed standards ensure that the three dimensional window into the lung offered by advanced imaging techniques will provide the sharp and clear view necessary for the discovery of new respiratory cures."
The research policy statement was published in the February 15, 2010, issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Lung morphometry—the study of the structure of the lung on the whole-organ level—is of growing importance as new advanced imaging techniques provide investigators glimpses of previously inaccessible areas of lung architecture. The lung is composed of networks of increasingly tiny airways which, if laid out end-to-end, would extend for 1,500 miles, as well as tiny air sacs called alveoli which, if flattened, would have the surface area of a tennis court. However, these tremendously complex and intricate structures comprise only 10 to 15 percent of the volume of an inflated lung. The rest is air.
"When I look into a microscope at about 200 times magnification and observe a histological section of human lung tissue, I see kind of a network of thin bands that I suspect to represent the walls between airspaces, the empty-looking areas; and some of the network bands mysteriously have free ends," explained Ewald R. Weibel, M.D., D.Sc., who is senior author of the standards and professor emeritus at the Institute for Anatomy at the University of Berne in Switzerland.
New advanced lung imaging techniques offer genuine three-dimensional views of the lung, and because of their ready availability, these techniques provide investigators with tremendous opportunities to look into previously inaccessible crevasses of the whole lung and examine spatial displays of the relationship between tissues, cells, organelles, alveoli, airways and blood vessels. But if these imaging techniques are misapplied they can promote misinterpretations of findings and confuse investigators in the field. Correctly interpreting these images is of critical importance to understanding the exact structures of airways and alveoli.
"Stereology now tells us that the length of this two-dimensional contour of air spaces images (per unit area of section) is proportional to the surface area of the three-dimensional airspaces (per unit volume of lung tissue)," said Dr. Weibel. "This allows the alveolar surface, functionally the gas exchange surface, to be measured on thin sections with great precision. But because the relationship is a statistical one, there are strict rules that must be observed if such an indirect estimate of a three-dimensional surface area is to be accurate. These standards explain these rules."
"The standards also promote the quality of basic and translational lung research, particularly because the potential use of the methodological standards in the modern imaging modalities—such as high-resolution CT, MRI and PET—are outlined," Dr. Weibel continued. "If adopted by the research community, the standards should also improve the efficiency and accuracy of studies and, most importantly, make results obtained by different groups comparable, thus facilitating interdisciplinary and international collaboration."Link to original article: http://www.thoracic.org/newsroom/press-releases/resources/lung-structure-statement.pdf
Link to original podcast: http://www.thoracic.org/newsroom/press-releases/journal/podcast/lung-structure.mp3
Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy