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      Quantitative Emphysema Measurement On Ultra-High-Resolution CT Scans

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          To evaluate the advantages of ultra-high-resolution computed tomography (U-HRCT) scans for the quantitative measurement of emphysematous lesions over conventional HRCT scans.

          Materials and methods

          This study included 32 smokers under routine clinical care who underwent chest CT performed by a U-HRCT scanner. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was diagnosed in 13 of the 32 participants. Scan data were reconstructed by 2 different protocols: i) U-HRCT mode with a 1024×1024 matrix and 0.25-mm slice thickness and ii) conventional HRCT mode with a 512×512 matrix and 0.5-mm slice thickness. On both types of scans, lesions of emphysema were quantitatively assessed as percentage of low attenuation volume (LAV%, <−950 Hounsfield units). LAV% values determined for scan data from the U-HRCT and conventional HRCT modes were compared by the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test. The association between LAV% and forced expiratory volume in 1 s per forced vital capacity (FEV 1/FVC) was assessed by the Spearman rank correlation test.


          Mean values for LAV% determined for the U-HRCT and conventional HRCT modes were 8.9 ± 8.8% and 7.3 ± 8.4%, respectively ( P<0.0001). The correlation coefficients for LAV% and FEV 1/FVC on the U-HRCT and conventional HRCT modes were 0.50 and 0.49, respectively (both P<0.01).


          Compared with conventional HRCT scans, U-HRCT scans reveal emphysematous lesions in greater detail, and provide slightly increased correlation with airflow limitation.

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          Most cited references 24

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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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            Complexity of terminal airspace geometry assessed by lung computed tomography in normal subjects and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            Increases in the low attenuation areas (LAA) of chest x-ray computed tomography images in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been reported to reflect the development of pathological emphysema. We examined the statistical properties of LAA clusters in COPD patients and in healthy subjects. In COPD patients, the percentage of the lung field occupied by LAAs (LAA%) ranged from 2.6 to 67.6. In contrast, LAA% was always <30% in healthy subjects. The cumulative size distribution of the LAA clusters followed a power law characterized by an exponent D. We show that D is a measure of the complexity of the terminal airspace geometry. The COPD patients with normal LAA% had significantly smaller D values than the healthy subjects, and the D values did not correlate with pulmonary function tests except for the diffusing capacity of the lung. We interpret these results by using a large elastic spring network model and find that the neighboring smaller LAA clusters tend to coalesce and form larger clusters as the weak elastic fibers separating them break under tension. This process leaves LAA% unchanged whereas it decreases the number of small clusters and increases the number of large clusters, which results in a reduction in D similar to that observed in early emphysema patients. These findings suggest that D is a sensitive and powerful parameter for the detection of the terminal airspace enlargement that occurs in early emphysema.
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              Collapsibility of lung volume by paired inspiratory and expiratory CT scans: correlations with lung function and mean lung density.

              To evaluate the relationship between measurements of lung volume (LV) on inspiratory/expiratory computed tomography (CT) scans, pulmonary function tests (PFT), and CT measurements of emphysema in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Forty-six smokers (20 females and 26 males; age range 46-81 years), enrolled in the Lung Tissue Research Consortium, underwent PFT and chest CT at full inspiration and expiration. Inspiratory and expiratory LV values were automatically measured by open-source software, and the expiratory/inspiratory (E/I) ratio of LV was calculated. Mean lung density (MLD) and low attenuation area percent (<-950 HU) were also measured. Correlations of LV measurements with lung function and other CT indices were evaluated by the Spearman rank correlation test. LV E/I ratio significantly correlated with the following: the percentage of predicted value of forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV(1)), the ratio of FEV(1) to forced vital capacity (FVC), and the ratio of residual volume (RV) to total lung capacity (TLC) (FEV(1)%P, R = -0.56, P < .0001; FEV(1)/FVC, r = -0.59, P < .0001; RV/TLC, r = 0.57, P < .0001, respectively). A higher correlation coefficient was observed between expiratory LV and expiratory MLD (r = -0.73, P < .0001) than between inspiratory LV and inspiratory MLD (r = -0.46, P < .01). LV E/I ratio showed a very strong correlation to MLD E/I ratio (r = 0.95, P < .0001). LV E/I ratio can be considered to be equivalent to MLD E/I ratio and to reflect airflow limitation and air-trapping. Higher collapsibility of lung volume, observed by inspiratory/expiratory CT, indicates less severe conditions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Copyright 2010 AUR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                08 October 2019
                : 14
                : 2283-2290
                [1 ]Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, University of the Ryukyus , Okinawa, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Radiology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital , Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Department of Radiology, Ohara General Hospital , Fukushima, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Tsuneo Yamashiro Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, University of the Ryukyus , 207 Uehara, Nishihara, Okinawa903-0215, JapanTel +81-98-895-1162Fax +81-98-895-1420 Email
                © 2019 Xu 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: 5, Tables: 3, References: 26, Pages: 8
                Original Research


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