Relationship between extent of pulmonary emphysema by high-resolution computed tomography and lung elastic recoil in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Simonetta Baldi, Massimo Miniati, Calogero Riccardo Bellina, Luigi Battolla, Giosué Catapano, Enrico Begliomini, Davide Giustini, Carlo Giuntini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigated the relationship between the extent of pulmonary emphysema, assessed by quantitative high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), and lung mechanics in 24 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The extent of emphysema was quantified as the relative lung area with CT numbers <-950 Hounsfield Units (HU). Patients with COPD had severe airflow obstruction (FEV1 35 ± 15% pred) and severe reduction of CO diffusion constant (Dco/VA 37 ± 19% pred). Maximal static elastic recoil pressure (Pstmax) averaged 54 ± 24% predicted, and the exponential constant K of pressure-volume curves was 258 ± 116% predicted. Relative lung area with CT numbers <-950 HU averaged 21 ± 11% (range 1 to 38%). It showed a highly significant negative correlation with DCO/VA (r = -0.84, p <0.0001), a weak correlation with FEV1% predicted, and no correlation with either Pstmax or constant K. A significant relationship was found between the natural logarithm of K and the full width at half maximum of the frequency distribution of CT numbers, taken as an index of the heterogeneity of lung density (r = 0.68, p <0.0005). We conclude that currently used methods of assessing the extent of emphysema by HRCT closely reflect the reduction of CO diffusion constant, but cannot predict the elastic properties of the lung tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-589
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Volume164
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2001

Keywords

  • Elastic recoil pressure
  • Emphysema heterogeneity
  • HRCT quantitative analysis
  • Pressure-volume curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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