Background: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a combination of loss of elastic recoil, narrowing of small airways and remodeling. Morphologic features of bronchial wall in patients with COPD have been assessed using CT scan. Most imaging studies done used wall percentage area and luminal area. However, studies on bronchial wall attenuation in Hounsfield unit have been rare. This study aims to find a correlation between bronchial wall CT attenuation and pulmonary function in COPD patients
Methods: Eighty-one patients diagnosed with COPD who underwent chest CT scan and PFT on the same year and were included. Bronchial wall attenuation was measured and was correlated with PFT results and severity of COPD according to the GOLD criteria.
Results: Most patients enrolled were males with average age of 64 ± 11 years old. Most of these patients are categorized as mild COPD with 38% and severe COPD with 38% of the total population. Patients classified as moderate COPD comprise 24% of the total population. There is significant moderate inverse correlation between bronchial wall attenuation and PFT results, FEV1 (r = -448, P <0.001) and FEV1/FVC (r = -0.374, p value of < 0.001). There is no significant correlation was derived between bronchial wall attenuation and severity of COPD according to GOLD criteria.
Conclusions: Bronchial wall attenuation of the more proximal airways can potentially be used as a quantitative CT index of airflow limitation in patients with COPD as well as it severity.