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      Clinical features of three-dimensional computed tomography-based radiologic phenotypes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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          The diagnosis and severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are defined by airflow limitation using spirometry. However, COPD has diverse clinical features, and several phenotypes based on non-spirometric data have been investigated. To identify novel phenotypes of COPD using radiologic data obtained by three-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT).

          Patients and methods

          The inner luminal area and wall thickness of third- to sixth-generation bronchi and the percentage of the low-attenuation area (less than −950 HU) of the lungs were measured using 3D-CT in patients with COPD. Using the radiologic data, hierarchical clustering was performed. Respiratory reactance and resistance were measured to evaluate functional differences among the clusters.


          Four clusters were identified among 167 patients with COPD: Cluster I, mild emphysema with severe airway changes, severe airflow limitation, and high exacerbation risk; Cluster II, mild emphysema with moderate airway changes, mild airflow limitation, and mild dyspnea; Cluster III, severe emphysema with moderate airway changes, severe airflow limitation, and increased dyspnea; and Cluster IV, moderate emphysema with mild airway changes, mild airflow limitation, low exacerbation risk, and mild dyspnea. Cluster I had the highest respiratory resistance among the four clusters. Clusters I and III had higher respiratory reactance than Clusters II and IV.


          The 3D-CT-based radiologic phenotypes were associated with the clinical features of COPD. Measurement of respiratory resistance and reactance may help to identify phenotypic differences.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Computed tomographic measurements of airway dimensions and emphysema in smokers. Correlation with lung function.

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by the presence of airflow obstruction caused by emphysema or airway narrowing, or both. Low attenuation areas (LAA) on computed tomography (CT) have been shown to represent macroscopic or microscopic emphysema, or both. However CT has not been used to quantify the airway abnormalities in smokers with or without airflow obstruction. In this study, we used CT to evaluate both emphysema and airway wall thickening in 114 smokers. The CT measurements revealed that a decreased FEV(1) (%predicted) is associated with an increase of airway wall area and an increase of emphysema. Although both airway wall thickening and emphysema (LAA) correlated with measurements of lung function, stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the combination of airway and emphysema measurements improved the estimate of pulmonary function test abnormalities. We conclude that both CT measurements of airway dimensions and emphysema are useful and complementary in the evaluation of the lung of smokers.
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            The forced oscillation technique in clinical practice: methodology, recommendations and future developments

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              Airflow limitation and airway dimensions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by airflow limitation caused by emphysema and/or airway narrowing. Computed tomography has been widely used to assess emphysema severity, but less attention has been paid to the assessment of airway disease using computed tomography. To obtain longitudinal images and accurately analyze short axis images of airways with an inner diameter>or=2 mm located anywhere in the lung with new software for measuring airway dimensions using curved multiplanar reconstruction. In 52 patients with clinically stable COPD (stage I, 14; stage II, 22; stage III, 14; stage IV, 2), we used the software to analyze the relationship of the airflow limitation index (FEV1, % predicted) with the airway dimensions from the third to the sixth generations of the apical bronchus (B1) of the right upper lobe and the anterior basal bronchus (B8) of the right lower lobe. Airway luminal area (Ai) and wall area percent (WA%) were significantly correlated with FEV1 (% predicted). More importantly, the correlation coefficients (r) improved as the airways became smaller in size from the third (segmental) to sixth generations in both bronchi (Ai: r=0.26, 0.37, 0.58, and 0.64 for B1; r=0.60, 0.65, 0.63, and 0.73 for B8). We are the first to use three-dimensional computed tomography to demonstrate that airflow limitation in COPD is more closely related to the dimensions of the distal (small) airways than proximal (large) airways.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                24 June 2019
                : 14
                : 1333-1342
                [1 ]Second Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine , Hamamatsu 431-3192, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine , Hamamatsu 431-3192, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Naoki InuiHamamatsu University School of Medicine , 1-20-1 Handayama, Hamamatsu431-3192, JapanTel +81 53 435 2263Fax +81 53 435 2386Email inui@
                © 2019 Karayama et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 37, Pages: 10
                Original Research


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