DOI: 10.1161/circinterventions.123.013204 ISSN: 1941-7640

Calculating Relative Lung Perfusion Using Fluoroscopic Sequences and Image Analysis: The Fluoroscopic Flow Calculator

Yuval Barak-Corren, Christian Herz, Andras Lasso, Yoav Dori, Jessica Tang, Christopher L. Smith, Ryan Callahan, Jonathan J. Rome, Matthew J. Gillespie, Matthew A. Jolley, Michael L. O’Byrne
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Maldistribution of pulmonary blood flow in patients with congenital heart disease impacts exertional performance and pulmonary artery growth. Currently, measurement of relative pulmonary perfusion can only be performed outside the catheterization laboratory. We sought to develop a tool for measuring relative lung perfusion using readily available fluoroscopy sequences.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted on patients with conotruncal anomalies who underwent lung perfusion scans and subsequent cardiac catheterizations between 2011 and 2022. Inclusion criteria were nonselective angiogram of pulmonary vasculature, oblique angulation ≤20°, and an adequate view of both lung fields. A method was developed and implemented in 3D Slicer’s SlicerHeart extension to calculate the amount of contrast that entered each lung field from the start of contrast injection and until the onset of levophase. The predicted perfusion distribution was compared with the measured distribution of pulmonary blood flow and evaluated for correlation, accuracy, and bias.


In total, 32% (79/249) of screened studies met the inclusion criteria. A strong correlation between the predicted flow split and the measured flow split was found ( R 2 =0.83; P <0.001). The median absolute error was 6%, and 72% of predictions were within 10% of the true value. Bias was not systematically worse at either extreme of the flow distribution. The prediction was found to be more accurate for either smaller and younger patients (age 0–2 years), for right ventricle injections, or when less cranial angulations were used (≤20°). In these cases (n=40), the prediction achieved R 2 =0.87, median absolute error of 5.5%, and 78% of predictions were within 10% of the true flow.


The current study demonstrates the feasibility of a novel method for measuring relative lung perfusion using conventional angiograms. Real-time measurement of lung perfusion at the catheterization laboratory has the potential to reduce unnecessary testing, associated costs, and radiation exposure. Further optimization and validation is warranted.

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