National Jewish Health researchers and their colleagues in theCOPDGene research consortium report that a computerized form ofradiology, known as quantitative CT, can offer valuable prognosticinformation for patients and doctors beyond the standard breathingtests most commonly used to evaluate chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease (COPD). “Our findings indicate that quantitative CT scans can help identifypatients at greater risk for damaging exacerbations of theirdisease,” said James D. Crapo, MD, Professor of Medicine atNational Jewish Health and co-author of the paper that appeared inthe October 2011 issue of Radiology. “The findings also help us identify distinct phenotypes among theCOPD patient population, who could benefit from individualized,targeted management of their disease.” Progression of COPD does not occur at a steady rate. Exacerbations,flare-ups of the disease sometimes requiring hospitalization,accelerate the decline in lung function, increase the risk of deathand lower quality of life. Mortar Rendering Machine
Being able to identify patients atgreater risk of exacerbations, and possibly prevent them is animportant goal in care of COPD patients. Breathing tests, known as spirometry, are the standard tool forevaluating and staging COPD. Although worse results on spirometrydo broadly correlate with exacerbations, there are many exceptions.For this and other reasons, physicians have been seeking bettertools to evaluate their COPD patients. The COPDGene research team sought to evaluate the ability ofradiologic imaging to be that tool. They used quantitative CT, acomputerized method of measuring lighter and darker areas of thescan, to measure inflammation as determined by thickness of airwaywalls and the amount of tissue destruction or emphysema. Mortar Rendering Machine Manufacturer
They found that greater airway wall thickness and emphysema wereboth associated with more frequent exacerbations. Each 1 millimeterincrease in bronchial wall thickness was associated with a1.84-fold increase in annual exacerbation rate. Emphysema became afactor only if it involved 35 percent or more of the lungs. Beyondthe 35 percent involvement, each 5 percent increase in emphysemawas associated with a 1.18-fold in crease in exacerbations. Cement Plastering Machine
“Quantitative CT scans can help identify patients at greater riskfor exacerbations independent of their spirometry results,” saidDr. Crapo. “This could be valuable in identifying specificindividuals for targeted medical therapy.” Additional References Citations.