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CT-scan screening for LAM in women with collapsed lung is cost-effective
Date:3/4/2010

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that using high-resolution CT-scans to screen for lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM, is cost-effective in non-smoking women between 25 and 54 who come to the emergency room for the first time with a collapsed lung.

The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Pulmonary LAM is a rare but serious lung disease that occurs when smooth muscle tissue proliferates within the interstitium of the lung in the form of characteristic thin-walled lung cysts. Many patients present with shortness of breath, which is often misdiagnosed as asthma. But about one-third of LAM patients develop a spontaneous pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung, as the first major sign. But because of its rarity, LAM is rarely diagnosed immediately.

"Women with LAM who first experience spontaneous lung collapse will, on average, experience two more, but diagnosis doesn't usually occur until the second or third collapse, delaying treatment," said Brent Kinder, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and director of the University of Cincinnati Interstitial Lung Disease Center and an investigator in the study. "We thought that targeting screening to non-smoking women in the age range of typical LAM development may help us identify the condition earlier and improve quality of life for these patients."

Dr. Kinder and Jared Hagaman, M.D., clinical research fellow in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, along with other University of Cincinnati colleagues in the Department of Medicine, developed a model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of screening patients for LAM.

Using national representative data sources, researchers looked at rates of collapsed lung and prevalence of LAM in relation to age, gender and smoking status. They compared the benefit and cost of using high-resoluti
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Contact: Keely Savoie
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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