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CT shows changes in lungs associated with COPD flare-ups
Date:7/27/2011

udy, patients who are between 45 and 80 years old with a history of cigarette smoking undergo spirometry and whole-lung volumetric CT examinations.

Dr. Han's study group included the first 2,500 patients enrolled in the COPDGene Study who met criteria for COPD. The researchers studied whether there was an association between a patient's bronchial wall thickness and degree of air sac destruction on CT with frequency of exacerbations.

The analysis revealed that while many patients had a mixture of structural changes related to their COPD, two subgroups predominantly with emphysema or large airway disease could be identified, and both increased airway wall thickness and increased emphysema were associated with greater exacerbation frequency, independent of spirometric measures of lung function.

"Radiologic characterization of COPD patients has prognostic value in the selection of more homogeneous subgroups for clinical trials and possibly for identifying patients at risk of frequent exacerbations for targeted medical therapies," Dr. Han said.

Dr. Han added that her research suggests there may be different disease mechanisms causing inflammation in the two COPD subgroups, and that future studies may help determine if these patients should be treated differently.


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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