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Quantitative CT Analysis of Small Airway Remodeling in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease by a New Image Post-Processing System

Authors Qin S, Yu X, Ma Q, Lin L, Li Q, Liu H, Zhang L, Leng S, Han W

Received 2 December 2020

Accepted for publication 7 February 2021

Published 2 March 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 535—544

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S295320

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Shuyi Qin,1,2,* Xinjuan Yu,1,2,* Qianli Ma,3,* Li Lin,4 Qinghai Li,1,2 Hong Liu,1,2 Lei Zhang,5 Shuguang Leng,6 Wei Han1,2

1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, School of Medicine, Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong, People’s Republic of China; 2Respiratory Disease Key Laboratory of Qingdao, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, Shandong, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Radiology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, Shandong, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Shandong Provincial Chest Hospital, Jinan, Shandong, People’s Republic of China; 5Department of Hospital Infection, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, Shandong, People’s Republic of China; 6Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Wei Han
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, School of Medicine, Qingdao University, No. 5 Donghaizhong Road, Qingdao, Shandong, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 532 85937579
Email [email protected]
Shuguang Leng
Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Tel +1 505 3489465
Email [email protected]

Purpose: To explore a practical marker for quantitatively analyzing the small airway remodeling in COPD by HRCT.
Patients and Methods: Twenty-four patients with COPD (GOLD I, n = 7; GOLD II, n = 8; GOLD III+IV, n = 9) and 14 healthy controls (7 normal pulmonary function; 7 small-airway disease (SAD)) were enrolled in the study as five groups, GOLD I, GOLD II, GOLD III+IV, normal and SAD. All subjects underwent HRCT and spirometry. With ISP 9.0, whole emphysema index (EI) and the airway parameters, including wall area (WA), lumen area (LA), airway area (AA) of the 3rd, 5th and 9th generations of bronchi, were measured successively. The ratio of LA/AA and WA/AA in the 3rd, 5th and 9th generations of bronchi were calculated and compared among groups.
Results: For the five groups, EI was increased only in GOLD III+IV group (P < 0.05), while the ratio of LA/AA (9-LA/AA) and WA/AA (9-WA/AA) in 9th generation of bronchi have significantly changed since SAD group (P < 0.05). There were significant correlation between FEV1generations of bronchi (r3 = 0.429, r5 = 0.583, r9 = 0.592, respectively, P < 0.05); FEV1% and WA/AA (r3 = – 0.428, r5 = – 0.532, r9 = – 0.570, respectively, P < 0.05); as well as MMEF% and LA/AA (r3 = 0.421, r5 = 0.566, r9 = 0.610, respectively, P < 0.05); MMEF% and WA/AA (r3 = – 0.421, r5 = – 0.529, r9 = – 0.593, respectively, P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Small airway remodeling has occurred in the early stage of COPD, while emphysema in the late stage of COPD. The 9-LA/AA and 9-WA/AA are accurate and practical markers for small airway remodeling of COPD.

Keywords: COPD, high-resolution CT, emphysema index, pulmonary function test

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