Key words: CT – High-resolution CT – Comparative studies – Lung – Lung function – Ventilation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. This study was undertaken to determine prevalence, extent, and severity of focal airtrapping at expiratory high-resolution CT, and to compare focal airtrapping with age, gender, pulmonary function tests, and blood gas analysis. Two-hundred seventeen patients with and without pulmonary disease underwent paired inspiratory/expiratory high-resolution CT. Six scan pairs with corresponding scan levels were visually assessed for focal – not diffuse – airtrapping using a four-point scale. Pulmonary function tests and blood gas analysis were available for correlation in all patients (mean interval 5 days). Focal airtrapping with lower lung predominance was observed in 80 % of patients. Twenty-six of 26 patients with restrictive lung function impairment exhibited focal airtrapping (mean score 2.4), whereas only 72 of 98 (74 %) patients with obstruction did (mean score 1.5; p 〈 0.05). Fifty-eight of 70 (83 %) patients with normal lung function (mean score 1.8) and 19 of 23 (83 %) patients with mixed impairment (mean score 1.8) had focal airtrapping. Focal airtrapping showed negative correlations with static lung volumes (–0.27 to –0.37; p 〈 0.001) in all patients and moderate positive correlations with dynamic parameters (0.3–0.4; p 〈 0.001) in patients with obstruction. No significant correlations were found with age, gender, and blood gas analysis. Visual assessment of focal – not diffuse – airtrapping at expiratory high-resolution CT does not correlate with physiological evidence of obstruction as derived from pulmonary function tests since the perception of focal airtrapping requires an adequate expiratory increase in lung density.
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