Regional lung deformation (as opposed to whole lung volume change) may be an indicator of localized lung malformations. Regional deformation may be characterized by principal strains, but lack a direct physiological relevance. Alternatively, regional volume change (distribution of Jacobian) is physiologically intuitive, but does not characterize all aspects of deformation. For instance, a region may undergo no volume change, but still have deformed significantly — say, when the lengthening in one direction is compensated by contraction along another direction. From a perspective of physiological relevance to lung function, lung deformation may be thought to encompass both the volume change and directional preferences in volume change.

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