Quantitative Computed Tomography (CT) Assessment of Emphysema in Patients with Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and its Correlation with Age, Sex, Pulmonary Function Tests, BMI, Smoking, and Biomass Exposure
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Publication date: 2018-02-02
Pol J Radiol, 2017; 82: 760-766
Background: To evaluate the role of HRCT in quantifying emphysema in severe COPD patients and to study the variations in the pattern of emphysema in relation to age, sex, FEV1, smoking index, biomass exposure, and BMI.
Material/Methods: Automatic lung segmentation of HRCT scans in 41 severe COPD patients (GOLD stage III or more) was done using an emphysema protocol. The extent of emphysema was assessed using the density mask method with a threshold of –950 HU (%LAA-950). The percentage of emphysema in each lung lobe and both lungs was correlated with 6 parameters – age, sex, BMI, smoking index, biomass exposure, and FEV1.
Results: Smoking resulted in homogenously distributed emphysema regardless of the severity of smoking. BMI was inversely correlated with the extent of emphysema. A significant association was found between the percentage of emphysema in the right lower lobe and BMI (P=0.015), between biomass exposure and the percentage of emphysema in RUL, RLL, and both lungs (P values of 0.024, 0.016, and 0.036, respectively). The extent of emphysema was disproportionately low compared to the amount of obstruction on PFTs, indicating an airway predominant variety of COPD with significant biomass exposure.
Conclusions: Smoking is associated with a relatively homogenous distribution of emphysema with no regional predilection. Biomass exposure produces predominantly right-sided emphysema. BMI decreases with increasing levels of emphysema in the right lower lobe. These risk factors of emphysema patterns are helpful in deciding on the management, including surgical options.
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