Scientific publications

Low-dose volumetric computed tomography for quantification of emphysema in asymptomatic smokers participating in an early lung cancer detection trial

Aug 1, 2009 | Magazine: Journal of Thoracic Imaging

Bastarrika, Gorka MD (1), Wisnivesky, Juan P. MD, MPH (3), Pueyo, Jesus C. MD (1), Diaz, Lourdes MD (1), Arraiza, Maria MD (1), Villanueva, Alberto MD (1), Alcaide, Ana B. MD (2), Campo, Arantza MD (2), Seijo, Luis MD (2), de Torres, Juan P. MD (2), Zulueta, Javier J. MD (2)
Departments of (1) Radiology, (2) Respiratory Diseases, Clinica Universitaria, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain (3) Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY

High-resolution computed tomography (CT) is a validated method to quantify the extent of pulmonary emphysema. In this study, we assessed the reliability of low-dose volumetric CT (LDCT) for the quantification of emphysema and its correlation with spirometric indices of airway obstruction.

The study population consisted of 102 consecutive current and former smokers participating in a lung cancer screening trial. All subjects underwent spirometry testing and LDCT at entry and a LDCT after 12 months. The extent of emphysema was estimated by 2 techniques; by using the lung attenuation threshold analysis and by visual assessment of the 2 independent radiologists. The reproducibility of these determinations was assessed using test-retest reliability and kappa coefficient of agreement. The correlation of LDCT-based emphysema determinations with indices of airway obstruction on spirometry was also calculated.

Eighty percent of the participants were male, with a mean (standard deviation) age of 54.5 (7.5) years, and median pack-years (interquartile range) of 20 (24). Test-retest reliability of all LDCT-based emphysema determinations was very good (intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.92 for the volume of emphysema, and 0.93 for the emphysema index or emphysema volume/total lung volume). Similarly, there was an excellent interrater agreement for visual assessment of emphysema (kappa coefficient=0.91). Higher volumes of emphysema measured quantitatively or visually significantly correlated with spirometric markers of airway obstruction.

Volumetric LDCT is a reliable and valid technique for the quantification of emphysema in asymptomatic smokers.

CITATION J Thorac Imaging. 2009 Aug;24(3):206-11