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1.  The Sensitivity of Lung Disease Surrogates in Detecting Chest CT Abnormalities in Children with Cystic Fibrosis 
Pediatric Pulmonology  2011;47(6):567-573.
Chest CT scans detect structural abnormalities in children with cystic fibrosis (CF), even when pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are normal. The use of chest CT is limited in clinical practice, because of concerns over expense, increased resource utilization, and radiation exposure. Quantitative chest radiography scores are useful in detecting mild lung disease, but whether they are sensitive to the presence of CT scan abnormalities has not been evaluated.
To determine in a cross-sectional study if quantitative chest radiography is a more sensitive marker of chest CT abnormalities than other lung disease surrogates.
Brody chest CT scores were calculated for 81 children enrolled in the Wisconsin CF Neonatal Screening Project. We determined the sensitivity for Wisconsin (WCXR) and Brasfield (BCXR) chest radiography scores, PFTs, positive cultures for P. aeruginosa (PA), and parental report of symptoms to detect a Brody score worse than the median score for study participants.
Measurements and Main Results
The mean FEV1 for the study population was 91% predicted. Abnormal WCXR and BCXR scores had the highest sensitivity to detect a chest CT score worse than the median; abnormal PFTs, parental report of symptoms, and the presence of PA had much lower sensitivity (p<0.001).
In this cross sectional study, quantitative chest radiography has excellent sensitivity to detect an abnormal chest CT and may have a role in monitoring lung disease progression in children with CF.
PMCID: PMC3309112  PMID: 22170734
Chest x-ray; quantitative radiography; pulmonary function
2.  Regional Differences in the Evolution of Lung Disease in Children with Cystic Fibrosis 
Pediatric Pulmonology  2011;47(7):635-640.
Progression of lung disease is a major event in children with cystic fibrosis (CF), but regional differences in its evolution are unclear. We hypothesized that regional differences occur beginning in early childhood. We examined this issue by evaluating 132 patients followed in the Wisconsin Neonatal Screening Project between 1985 and 2010. We scored chest x-rays obtained every 1–2 years with the Wisconsin chest x-ray system, in which we divided the lungs into quadrants, and gave special attention to ratings for bronchiectasis (BX) and nodular/branching opacities. We compared the upper and lower quadrant scores, and upper right and left quadrant scores, as patients aged using a multivariable generalized estimation equation (GEE) model. We did a confirmatory analysis for a subset of 81 patients with chest computerized tomography (CT) images obtained in 2000 and scored using the Brody scoring system. The chest x-ray analysis shows that the upper quadrants have higher BX (p<0.001) and nodular/branching opacities (p<0.001) scores than the lower quadrants. CT analysis likewise reveals that the upper quadrants have more BX (p=0.02). Patients positive for mucoid PA showed significantly higher BX scores than patients with nonmucoid PA (p= 0.001). Chest x-ray scoring also revealed that the upper right quadrant has more BX (p< 0.001) than the upper left quadrant, and CT analysis was again confirmatory (p< 0.001). We conclude that pediatric patients with CF develop more severe lung disease in the upper lobes than the lower lobes in association with mucoid PA infections and also have more severe lung disease on the right side than on the left side in the upper quadrants. A variety of potential explanations such as aspiration episodes may be clinically relevant and provide insights regarding therapies.
PMCID: PMC3310260  PMID: 22162514
cystic fibrosis; lung disease; bronchiectasis; upper lobes; mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa
3.  Critical evaluation of three chest radiograph scores in cystic fibrosis. 
Thorax  1994;49(9):863-866.
BACKGROUND--A number of chest radiographic scores have been developed to assess the severity of respiratory disease in cystic fibrosis but critical statistical evaluation has been limited. In particular, the chest radiograph component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical score has not previously been validated. Three different chest radiograph scores have been compared and the association between them and lung function tests investigated. METHODS--The interobserver and intraobserver variation of the Brasfield, NIH chest radiograph, and the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) chest radiograph score was assessed by three observers--a paediatric radiologist, a junior and a senior respiratory physician--who independently scored, on separate occasions, 62 chest radiographs randomly selected from three age strata of patients ranging from 7 to 18 years. Lung function tests were available for 61 patients obtained within three months of the chest radiograph. Two way analysis of variance was used to estimate components of variation in scores. RESULTS--Results were similar for the Brasfield and NIH scores, both of which demonstrated greater precision than the RCH score, but the estimated repeatability of the Brasfield and NIH scores can be expected to differ by up to 20% of the maximum score. The reliabilities (intraclass correlation) are all reasonably high at 0.74, 0.73, and 0.61 for the Brasfield, NIH, and RCH scores, respectively. The estimated correlation between radiographic scores and lung function tests, adjusted for attenuation caused by measurement error, showed a similar correlation for all three scoring methods ranging from 0.55 to 0.78. Correlations were slightly greater with FEV1% than FVC%. These correlations are substantial but not high, indicating that a large proportion of the variability in radiographic scores cannot be explained by lung function measurements. CONCLUSIONS--The Brasfield and NIH chest radiograph scores have very similar statistical profiles and can be equally recommended if a chest radiograph score is to be used. The RCH radiographic score appears to be less reliable. The limitations of these scores need to be understood.
PMCID: PMC475172  PMID: 7940423
4.  Recovery of birth weight z-score within two years of diagnosis is positively associated with pulmonary status at age six years in children with cystic fibrosis 
Pediatrics  2009;123(2):714-722.
We recently reported that 60% of newly diagnosed CF children who had pancreatic insufficiency (PI) responded to treatment initiation and achieved catch-up weight gain to a level comparable to their birth weight Z-score within 2 years of diagnosis (“responders”), while the remaining 40% failed to do so (“non-responders”). The present study examined the impact of this early weight recovery on subsequent growth pattern and pulmonary status at age 6 years.
Patients and Methods
Sixty-three children with CF who had PI but no meconium ileus, and were enrolled in the Wisconsin CF Neonatal Screening Project, were studied. “Responders” were defined by a recovery of weight Z-score comparable to that at birth within 2 years of diagnosis. During ages 2–6, growth was evaluated with the combination of height and body mass index. Pulmonary status was evaluated by symptoms, spirometry, quantitative chest radiography and respiratory microbiology.
The majority (71%) of the responders maintained their early weight recovery through age 6 years while only 32% of the non-responders achieved substantial growth improvement during age 2 to 6 years. Proportionately fewer responders reported cough symptoms (10% daytime cough, p =0.02; 22% nighttime cough, p=0.05) compared to non-responders (41% daytime cough, 45% nighttime cough) at age 6. Percent predicted FEV1 (%FEV1) at age 6 was 11% higher in responders (99.5 ± 13.9%) compared to non-responders (88.3 ± 18.5%), p = 0.015. Responders had significantly better Brasfield (20.1 ± 1.4, p = 0.01) and Wisconsin chest radiographic scores (8.3 ± 3.3, p = 0.04) compared to non-responders (Brasfield 18.9 ± 1.8, Wisconsin 12.3 ± 8.3). Respiratory microbiology was not significantly different. Multiple regression analyses indicated that the positive association between responder and %FEV1 at age 6 years remained statistically significant after controlling for infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphlococcus aureus and chest radiographic scores. Growth patterns during 2–6 years of age were not associated with pulmonary measures at age 6.
CF patients with PI who achieved early growth recovery within 2 years of diagnosis had fewer cough symptoms, higher lung function and better chest radiography scores at 6 years of age.
PMCID: PMC2775492  PMID: 19171643
Cystic Fibrosis; Growth; Malnutrition; Height; Weight; Body mass index; Pulmonary function; Chest radiograph; Newborn screening
5.  Lung diffusing capacity for nitric oxide and carbon monoxide in relation to morphological changes as assessed by computed tomography in patients with cystic fibrosis 
Due to large-scale destruction, changes in membrane diffusion (Dm) may occur in cystic fibrosis (CF), in correspondence to alterations observed by computed tomography (CT). Dm can be easily quantified via the diffusing capacity for nitric oxide (DLNO), as opposed to the conventional diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO). We thus studied the relationship between DLNO as well as DLCO and a CF-specific CT score in patients with stable CF.
Simultaneous single-breath determinations of DLNO and DLCO were performed in 21 CF patients (mean ± SD age 35 ± 9 y, FEV1 66 ± 28%pred). Patients also underwent spirometry and bodyplethysmography. CT scans were evaluated via the Brody score and rank correlations (rS) with z-scores of functional measures were computed.
CT scores correlated best with DLNO (rS = -0.83; p < 0.001). Scores were also related to the volume-specific NO transfer coefficient (KNO; rS = -0.63; p < 0.01) and to DLCO (rS = -0.79; p < 0.001) but not KCO. Z-scores for DLNO were significantly lower than for DLCO (p < 0.001). Correlations with spirometric (e.g., FEV1, IVC) or bodyplethysmographic (e.g., SRaw, RV/TLC) indices were weaker than for DLNO or DLCO but most of them were also significant (p < 0.05 each).
In this cross sectional study in patients with CF, DLNO and DLCO reflected CT-morphological alterations of the lung better than other measures. Thus the combined diffusing capacity for NO and CO may play a future role for the non-invasive, functional assessment of structural alterations of the lung in CF.
PMCID: PMC2708126  PMID: 19531222
6.  Prospective evaluation of respiratory exacerbations in children with cystic fibrosis from newborn screening to 5 years of age 
Thorax  2013;68(7):643-651.
Newborn screening allows novel treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF) to be trialled in early childhood before irreversible lung injury occurs. As respiratory exacerbations are a potential trial outcome variable, we determined their rate, duration and clinical features in preschool children with CF; and whether they were associated with growth, lung structure and function at age 5 years.
Respiratory exacerbations were recorded prospectively in Australasian CF Bronchoalveolar Lavage trial subjects from enrolment after newborn screening to age 5 years, when all participants underwent clinical assessment, chest CT scans and spirometry.
168 children (88 boys) experienced 2080 exacerbations, at an average rate of 3.66 exacerbations per person-year; 80.1% were community managed and 19.9% required hospital admission. There was an average increase in exacerbation rate of 9% (95% CI 4% to 14%; p<0.001) per year of age. Exacerbation rate differed by site (p<0.001) and was 26% lower (95% CI 12% to 38%) in children receiving 12 months of prophylactic antibiotics. The rate of exacerbations in the first 2 years was associated with reduced forced expiratory volume in 1 s z scores. Ever having a hospital-managed exacerbation was associated with bronchiectasis (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.13 to 6.31) in chest CT scans, and lower weight z scores at 5 years of age (coefficient −0.39, 95% CI −0.74 to −0.05).
Respiratory exacerbations in young children are markers for progressive CF lung disease and are potential trial outcome measures for novel treatments in this age group.
PMCID: PMC3711493  PMID: 23345574
Cystic Fibrosis; Bronchiectasis; Respiratory Infection
7.  Association of Radiographic Emphysema and Airflow Obstruction with Lung Cancer 
Rationale: To study the relationship between emphysema and/or airflow obstruction and lung cancer in a high-risk population.
Objective: We studied lung cancer related to radiographic emphysema and spirometric airflow obstruction in tobacco-exposed persons who were screened for lung cancer using chest computed tomography (CT).
Methods: Subjects completed questionnaires, spirometry, and low-dose helical chest CT. CT scans were scored for emphysema based on National Emphysema Treatment Trial criteria. Multiple logistic regressions estimated the independent associations between various factors, including radiographic emphysema and airflow obstruction, and subsequent lung cancer diagnosis.
Measurements and Main Results: Among 3,638 subjects, 57.5, 18.8, 14.6, and 9.1% had no, trace, mild, and moderate–severe emphysema, and 57.3, 13.6, 22.8, and 6.4% had no, mild (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease [GOLD] I), moderate (GOLD II), and severe (GOLD III–IV) airflow obstruction. Of 3,638 subjects, 99 (2.7%) received a lung cancer diagnosis. Adjusting for sex, age, years of cigarette smoking, and number of cigarettes smoked daily, logistic regression showed the expected lung cancer association with the presence of airflow obstruction (GOLD I–IV, odds ratio [OR], 2.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.33–3.27). A second logistic regression showed lung cancer related to emphysema (OR, 3.56; 95% CI, 2.21–5.73). After additional adjustments for GOLD class, emphysema remained a strong and statistically significant factor related to lung cancer (OR, 3.14; 95% CI, 1.91–5.15).
Conclusions: Emphysema on CT scan and airflow obstruction on spirometry are related to lung cancer in a high-risk population. Emphysema is independently related to lung cancer. Both radiographic emphysema and airflow obstruction should be considered when assessing lung cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC2556456  PMID: 18565949
emphysema; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; lung cancer
8.  Is chest CT useful in newborn screened infants with cystic fibrosis at 1 year of age? 
Thorax  2013;69(4):320-327.
Sensitive outcome measures applicable in different centres to quantify and track early pulmonary abnormalities in infants with cystic fibrosis (CF) are needed both for clinical care and interventional trials. Chest CT has been advocated as such a measure yet there is no validated scoring system in infants.
The objectives of this study were to standardise CT data collection across multiple sites; ascertain the incidence of bronchial dilatation and air trapping in newborn screened (NBS) infants with CF at 1 year; and assess the reproducibility of Brody-II, the most widely used scoring system in children with CF, during infancy.
A multicentre observational study of early pulmonary lung disease in NBS infants with CF at age 1 year using volume-controlled chest CT performed under general anaesthetic.
Main results
65 infants with NBS-diagnosed CF had chest CT in three centres. Small insignificant variations in lung recruitment manoeuvres but significant centre differences in radiation exposures were found. Despite experienced scorers and prior training, with the exception of air trapping, inter- and intraobserver agreement on Brody-II score was poor to fair (eg, interobserver total score mean (95% CI) κ coefficient: 0.34 (0.20 to 0.49)). Only 7 (11%) infants had a total CT score ≥12 (ie, ≥5% maximum possible) by either scorer.
In NBS infants with CF, CT changes were very mild at 1 year, and assessment of air trapping was the only reproducible outcome. CT is thus of questionable value in infants of this age, unless an improved scoring system for use in mild CF disease can be developed.
PMCID: PMC3963531  PMID: 24132911
9.  Shwachman-Kulczycki score still useful to monitor cystic fibrosis severity 
Clinics  2011;66(6):979-983.
The Shwachman-Kulczycki score was the first scoring system used in cystic fibrosis to assess disease severity. Despite its subjectivity, it is still widely used.
To study correlations among forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), chest radiography, chest computed tomography, 6-minute walk test, and Shwachman-Kulczycki score in patients with cystic fibrosis and to test whether the Shwachman-Kulczycki score is still useful in monitoring the severity of the disease.
A cross-sectional prospective study was performed to analyze the correlations (Spearman). Patients with clinically stable cystic fibrosis, aged 3-21 years, were included.
43 patients, 19F/24M, mean age 10.5 ± 4.7 years, with a median Shwachman-Kulczycki score of 70 were studied. The median Brasfield and Bhalla scores were 17 and 10, respectively. The mean Z score for the 6-minute walk test was −1.1 ± 1.106 and the mean FEV1 was 59 ± 26 (as percentage of predicted values). The following significant correlations versus the Shwachman-Kulczycki score were found: FEV1 (r  =  0.76), 6-minute walk test (r  =  0.71), chest radiography (r  =  0.71) and chest computed tomography (r  =  −0.78). When patients were divided according to FEV1, a statistically significantly correlation with the Shwachman-Kulczycki score was found only in patients with FEV1 <70% (r  =  0.67).
The Shwachman-Kulczycki score remains an useful tool for monitoring the severity of cystic fibrosis, adequately reflecting the functional impairment and chest radiography and tomography changes, especially in patients with greater impairment of lung function. When assessing patients with mild lung disease its limitations should be considered and its usefulness in such patients should be evaluated in larger populations.
PMCID: PMC3129961  PMID: 21808862
Chest radiography; Six minute walk test; Spirometry; Chest tomography; Clinical status
10.  The Correlation of Brody High Resolution Computed Tomography Scoring System with Clinical Status and Pulmonary Function Test in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis 
Background: To reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, and to have an effective clinical management, it is important to monitor the progression of the disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the progression of lung disease in CF patients by means of assessing the correlation of the CT scoring system with clinical status and pulmonary function test at the Pediatric Pulmonary Ward of Masih Daneshvari Hospital in 2008.
Methods: Pulmonary high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) was performed in 23 CF patients using the Brody's scoring system. Morphologic signs as well as the extent and severity of each sign were scored, and the total score was calculated. The correlation of HRCT scores (total score as well as the score for each parameter) with Shwachman Kuczycki scoring system and pulmonary function test were examined.
Results: The study included 9 female and 14 male patients with an age range of 5-23 years (mean: 13.42 years). Bronchiectasis (100%) and peribronchial wall thickening (100%) were the most frequent CT abnormalities. Mucus plugging, air trapping and parenchymal involvements were respectively seen in 95.7%, 91.3% and 47.8% of patients. The overall CT score for all patients was 57.6±24.2 (means±SD). The results of pulmonary function test showed a restrictive pattern; however, in 5.3% of the patients PFT was normal. The overall Shwachman-Kulczycki score was 53.48±13.8. There was a significantly (P=0.015) negative correlation between the total CT score and Shwachman-Kulczycki score; however, there was no significant correlation between total CT score and the results of PFT (P=0.481)
Conclusion: The Brody's scoring system for high resolution computed tomography seems to be a sensitive and efficient method to evaluate the progression of CF, and can be more reliable when we combine the CT scores with clinical parameters.
PMCID: PMC3559112  PMID: 23365473
Clinical status; pulmonary function test; cystic fibrosis
11.  Association of Lung Function, Chest Radiographs and Clinical Features in Infants with Cystic Fibrosis 
The European respiratory journal  2013;42(6):10.1183/09031936.00138412.
The optimal strategy for monitoring cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease in infancy remains unclear.
To describe longitudinal associations between infant pulmonary function tests (iPFTs), chest radiograph (CXR) scores and other characteristics.
CF patients ≤ 24 months old were enrolled in a 10-center study evaluating iPFTs 4 times over a year. CXRs ~1 year apart were scored with the Wisconsin and Brasfield systems. Associations of iPFT parameters with clinical characteristics were evaluated with mixed effects models.
The 100 participants contributed 246 acceptable flow/volume (FEV0.5, FEF75) and 303 acceptable functional residual capacity (FRC) measurements and 171 CXRs. Both Brasfield and Wisconsin CXR scores worsened significantly over the 1 year interval. Worse Wisconsin CXR scores and S. aureus were both associated with hyperinflation (significantly increased FRC) but not with diminished FEV0.5 or FEF75. Parent-reported cough was associated with significantly diminished FEF75 but not with hyperinflation.
In this infant cohort in whom we previously reported worsening in average lung function, CXR scores also worsened over a year. The significant associations detected between both Wisconsin CXR score and S. aureus and hyperinflation, as well as between cough and diminished flows, reinforce the ability of iPFTs and CXRs to detect early CF lung disease.
PMCID: PMC3795977  PMID: 23722613
cystic fibrosis; imaging; infants; lung function
12.  Risk Factors for the Progression of Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease throughout Childhood 
Rationale: Previous studies of risk factors for progression of lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF) have suffered from limitations that preclude a comprehensive understanding of the determinants of CF lung disease throughout childhood. The epidemiologic component of the 27-year Wisconsin Randomized Clinical Trial of CF Neonatal Screening Project (WI RCT) afforded us a unique opportunity to evaluate the significance of potential intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for lung disease in children with CF.
Objectives: Describe the most important intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for progression of lung disease in children with CF.
Methods: Variables hypothesized at the onset of the WI RCT study to be determinants of the progression of lung disease and potential risk factors previously identified in the WI RCT study were assessed with multivariable generalized estimating equation models for repeated measures of chest radiograph scores and pulmonary function tests in the WI RCT cohort.
Measurements and Main Results: Combining all patients in the WI RCT, 132 subjects were observed for a mean of 16 years and contributed 1,579 chest radiographs, and 1,792 pulmonary function tests. The significant determinants of lung disease include genotype, poor growth, hospitalizations, meconium ileus, and infection with mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The previously described negative effect of female sex was not seen.
Conclusions: Modifiable extrinsic risk factors are the major determinants of progression of lung disease in children with CF. Better interventions to prevent or treat these risk factors may lead to improvements in lung health for children with CF.
PMCID: PMC3972988  PMID: 24261460
pulmonary function test; chest X-ray; newborn screening; nutrition; sex
13.  Lung disease assessment in primary ciliary dyskinesia: a comparison between chest high-field magnetic resonance imaging and high-resolution computed tomography findings 
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is associated with pulmonary involvement that requires periodical assessment. Chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) has become the method of choice to evaluate chronic lung disease, but entails exposure to ionizing radiation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been proposed as a potential radiation-free technique in several chest disorders. Aim of our study is to evaluate whether high-field MRI is as effective as HRCT in identifying PCD pulmonary abnormalities. We also analyzed the relationships between the severity and extension of lung disease, and functional data.
Thirteen PCD patients (8 children/5 adults; median age, 15.2 yrs) underwent chest HRCT and high-field 3T MRI, spirometry, and deep throat or sputum culture. Images were scored using a modified version of the Helbich system.
HRCT and MRI total scores were 12 (range, 6–20) and 12 (range, 5–17), respectively. Agreement between HRCT and MRI scores was good or excellent (r > 0.8). HRCT and MRI total scores were significantly related to forced vital capacity (r = -0.5, p = 0.05; and r = -0.7, p = 0.009, respectively) and forced expiratory volume at 1 second (r = -0.6, p = 0.03; and r = -0.7, p = 0.009, respectively).
Chest high-field 3T MRI appears to be as effective as HRCT in assessing the extent and severity of lung abnormalities in PCD. MRI scores might be used for longitudinal assessment and be an outcome surrogate in future studies.
PMCID: PMC2737542  PMID: 19660117
14.  A new high resolution computed tomography scoring system for pulmonary fibrosis, pleural disease, and emphysema in patients with asbestos related disease. 
The aim of this study was to describe a scoring system for high resolution computed tomographic (HRCT) scans analogous to the International Labour Office (ILO) scoring system for plain chest radiographs in patients with asbestos related disease. Interstitial fibrosis, pleural disease, and emphysema were scored, the reproducibility and the interobserver agreement using this scoring system were examined, and the extent of the various types of disease was correlated with measurements of lung function. Sixty asbestos workers (five women and 55 men) mean age 59 (range 34-78) were studied. The lungs were divided into upper, middle, and lower thirds. An HRCT score for the extent of pleural disease and pulmonary disease in each third was recorded in a way analogous to the International Labour Office (ILO) method of scoring pleural and parenchymal disease on chest radiographs. A CT score for the extent of emphysema was also recorded. Pleural disease and interstitial fibrosis on the plain chest radiographs were assessed according to the ILO scoring system. A chest radiographic score for emphysema analogous to that used for HRCT was also recorded. Two independent readers assigned HRCT scores that differed by two categories or less in 96%, 92%, and 85% compared with 90%, 78%, and 79% of cases for chest radiographs for fibrosis, emphysema, and pleural disease respectively. There was better intraobserver repeatability for the HRCT scores than for the chest radiograph scores for all disorders. Multiple regression analysis showed that scores for interstitial fibrosis, emphysema, and pleural disease on chest radiographs and HRCT correlated to a similar degree with impairment of lung function.
PMCID: PMC1012071  PMID: 1536823
15.  Computed tomography in the early detection of asbestosis. 
Computed tomography (CT; both conventional (CCT) and high resolution (HRCT)) scans of the thorax were evaluated to detect early asbestosis in 61 subjects exposed to asbestos dust in Québec for an average of 22(3) years and in five controls. The study was limited to consecutive cases with chest radiographs of the International Labour Organisation categories 0 or 1 determined independently. All subjects had a standard high kilovoltage posteroanterior and lateral chest radiograph, a set of 10-15 1 cm collimation CCT scans and a set of three to five 2 mm collimation HRCT scans in the upper, middle, and lower lung fields. Five experienced readers independently read each chest radiograph and sets of CT scans. On the basis of three to five readers agreeing for small opacities of the lung parenchyma, 12/46 (26%) negative chest radiographs were positive on CT scans, but 6/18 (33%) positive chest radiographs were negative on CT scan. On the basis of four to five readers agreeing on a chest radiograph, 36/66 (54%) subjects were normal (group A), 17/66 (26%) were indeterminate (group B), and 13/66 (20%) were abnormal (group C). By the combined readings of CCT and HRCT, 4/31 (13%) asbestos exposed subjects of group A were abnormal (p < 0.001), 6/17 (35%) of group B were abnormal, and in group C, 1/13 (8%) was normal, 2/13 were indeterminate, and 10/13 (77%) were abnormal. Separate readings of CCT and HRCT on distinct films in 14 subjects showed that all cases of asbestosis were abnormal on both CCT and HRCT. Inter-reader analyses by kappa statistics showed significantly better agreement for the readings of CT than the chest radiographs (p < 0.001), and for the reading of CCT than HRCT (p < 0.01). Thus CT scans of the thorax identifies significantly more irregular opacities consistent with the diagnosis of asbestosis than the chest radiograph (20 cases on CT scans v 13 on chest radiographs when four to five readers agreed, 13% of asbestos exposed subjects with normal chest radiographs or 21% of asbestos exposed subjects with normal or near normal chest radiographs. It decreased the number of indeterminate cases significantly from 17 on chest radiographs to 13 on CT scans. All cases of asbestosis detected only on CT scans were similarly seen on CCT and HRCT and did not have significant changes in lung function. The CT scans significantly reduced the inter-reader variability, despite the absence of ILO type reference films for these scans.
PMCID: PMC1012171  PMID: 8398855
16.  Radiography, tomosynthesis, CT and MRI in the evaluation of pulmonary cystic fibrosis: an untangling review of the multitude of scoring systems 
Insights into Imaging  2013;4(6):787-798.
The first radiographic scoring system for pulmonary cystic fibrosis was presented in 1958. Since then a multitude of scoring systems for radiography and computed tomography (CT) have been presented, recently also for tomosynthesis and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The aim of the current review was to analyse and compare the plethora of scoring systems for cystic fibrosis, especially regarding which scoring components are considered most important.
Four scoring systems for chest radiography, one for tomosynthesis, eight for CT and one for MRI were compared regarding components evaluated and their terminology; the areas scored; scoring levels; the weighting of each component in percentage of the total score; and the calculations for the final score.
In most radiological scoring systems the lungs are evaluated for increased volume, bronchial wall thickening, bronchiectasis, mucus plugging, atelectasis and consolidation. In addition, for instance abscesses, bullae, septal thickening, mosaic perfusion, ground glass opacities and air trapping are evaluated in some CT scoring systems. Pleural affection and perfusion defects are scored on MRI.
Bronchiectasis alone, or in combination with mucus plugging, is given the highest weighting in most scoring systems and is thus commonly considered to be the most significant finding when evaluating cystic fibrosis lung disease.
Teaching points
• Scoring of examinations is used for comparison of outcome in studies.
• Scoring of examinations can also be used for monitoring disease progression.
• Cystic fibrosis can be scored on radiography, tomosynthesis, CT or MRI.
• The typical imaging findings of cystic fibrosis depend on the imaging modality used.
• Bronchiectasis is commonly considered the most significant finding when scoring cystic fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3846934  PMID: 24065629
Cystic fibrosis; Magnetic resonance imaging; Radiography; Tomography, X-ray; Tomography, X-ray computed
17.  Restrictive lung function and asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis. A quantitative approach. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1993;91(6):2685-2692.
To assess further the clinical significance of asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis, we used a computer algorithm to reconstruct images three dimensionally from the high-resolution computerized tomography (HRCT) scan of the chest in 60 asbestos-exposed subjects. Pulmonary function tests, chest radiographs, and HRCT scans were performed on all study subjects. The volume of asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis was computed from the three-dimensional reconstruction of the HRCT scan. Among those with pleural fibrosis identified on the HRCT scan (n = 29), the volume of the pleural lesion varied from 0.01% (0.5 ml) and 7.11% (260.4 ml) of the total chest cavity. To investigate the relationship between asbestos-induced pleural fibrosis and restrictive lung function, we compared the computer-derived estimate of pleural fibrosis to the total lung capacity and found that these measures were inversely related (r = -0.40; P = 0.002). After controlling for age, height, pack-years of cigarette smoking, and the presence of interstitial fibrosis on the chest radiograph, the volume of pleural fibrosis identified on the three-dimensional reconstructed image from the HRCT scan was inversely associated with the total lung capacity (P = 0.03) and independently accounted for 9.5% of the variance of this measure of lung volume. These findings further extend the scientific data supporting an independent association between pleural fibrosis and restrictive lung function.
PMCID: PMC443332  PMID: 8514875
18.  The chest radiograph in cystic fibrosis: a new scoring system compared with the Chrispin-Norman and Brasfield scores. 
Thorax  1994;49(9):860-862.
BACKGROUND--Scoring systems for the chest radiograph in cystic fibrosis are used to compare patients and different treatment regimens, and to monitor respiratory disease in individual patients. The Northern chest radiograph score was designed to allow one person to assess the radiological features of lung involvement in cystic fibrosis in as simple, rapid and equally reproducible manner as the established Chrispin and Norman, and Brasfield scoring systems. METHODS--Forty five chest radiographs were scored by 10 physicians with a special interest in cystic fibrosis according to the Brasfield and Northern methods, and by five pairs of physicians according to the Chrispin-Norman criteria. Three individuals and two pairs rescored the radiographs after an interval of 3-5 months. The Northern score was performed with and without a lateral view, using the original posteroanterior radiograph. RESULTS--The Northern score showed a better agreement between observers for the ranking of the radiographs. It was equally well related to respiratory function tests, the Shwachman-Kulczycki score of overall clinical status, and in its discrimination between different radiographs as the other two scoring systems. The Northern score performed equally well with or without a lateral film. CONCLUSIONS--The Northern system fulfils the requirements of a chest radiograph score more successfully than the Chrispin-Norman or Brasfield systems, and does not require a lateral film.
PMCID: PMC475170  PMID: 7940422
19.  Association of Adenotonsillectomy with Asthma Outcomes in Children: A Longitudinal Database Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(11):e1001753.
Rakesh Bhattacharjee and colleagues use data from a US private health insurance database to compare asthma severity measures in children one year before and one year after they underwent adenotonsillectomy with asthma measures in those who did not undergo adenotonsillectomy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Childhood asthma and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), both disorders of airway inflammation, were associated in recent observational studies. Although childhood OSA is effectively treated by adenotonsillectomy (AT), it remains unclear whether AT also improves childhood asthma. We hypothesized that AT, the first line of therapy for childhood OSA, would be associated with improved asthma outcomes and would reduce the usage of asthma therapies in children.
Methods and Findings
Using the 2003–2010 MarketScan database, we identified 13,506 children with asthma in the United States who underwent AT. Asthma outcomes during 1 y preceding AT were compared to those during 1 y following AT. In addition, 27,012 age-, sex-, and geographically matched children with asthma without AT were included to examine asthma outcomes among children without known adenotonsillar tissue morbidity. Primary outcomes included the occurrence of a diagnostic code for acute asthma exacerbation (AAE) or acute status asthmaticus (ASA). Secondary outcomes included temporal changes in asthma medication prescriptions, the frequency of asthma-related emergency room visits (ARERs), and asthma-related hospitalizations (ARHs). Comparing the year following AT to the year prior, AT was associated with significant reductions in AAE (30.2%; 95% CI: 25.6%–34.3%; p<0.0001), ASA (37.9%; 95% CI: 29.2%–45.6%; p<0.0001), ARERs (25.6%; 95% CI: 16.9%–33.3%; p<0.0001), and ARHs (35.8%; 95% CI: 19.6%–48.7%; p = 0.02). Moreover, AT was associated with significant reductions in most asthma prescription refills, including bronchodilators (16.7%; 95% CI: 16.1%–17.3%; p<0.001), inhaled corticosteroids (21.5%; 95% CI: 20.7%–22.3%; p<0.001), leukotriene receptor antagonists (13.4%; 95% CI: 12.9%–14.0%; p<0.001), and systemic corticosteroids (23.7%; 95% CI: 20.9%–26.5%; p<0.001). In contrast, there were no significant reductions in these outcomes in children with asthma who did not undergo AT over an overlapping follow-up period. Limitations of the MarketScan database include lack of information on race and obesity status. Also, the MarketScan database does not include information on children with public health insurance (i.e., Medicaid) or uninsured children.
In a very large sample of privately insured children, AT was associated with significant improvements in several asthma outcomes. Contingent on validation through prospectively designed clinical trials, this study supports the premise that detection and treatment of adenotonsillar tissue morbidity may serve as an important strategy for improving asthma control.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The global burden of asthma has been rising steadily over the past few decades. Nowadays, about 200–300 million adults and children worldwide are affected by asthma, a chronic condition caused by inflammation of the airways (the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs). Although asthma can develop at any age, it is often diagnosed in childhood—asthma is one of the commonest chronic diseases in children. In the US, for example, asthma affects around 7.1 million children under the age of 18 years and is the third leading cause of hospitalization of children under the age of 15 years. In people with asthma, the airways can react very strongly to allergens such as animal fur or to irritants such as cigarette smoke. Exercise, cold air, and infections can trigger asthma attacks, which can be fatal. The symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Asthma cannot be cured, but drugs can relieve its symptoms and prevent acute asthma attacks.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recent studies have found an association between severe childhood asthma and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In OSA, airway inflammation promotes hypertrophy (excess growth) of the adenoids and the tonsils, immune system tissues in the upper airway. During sleep, the presence of hypertrophic adenotonsillar tissues predisposes the walls of the throat to collapse, which results in apnea—a brief interruption in breathing. People with OSA often snore loudly and frequently wake from deep sleep as they struggle to breathe. Childhood OSA, which affects 2%–3% of children, can be effectively treated by removal of the adenoids and tonsils (adenotonsillectomy). Given the association between childhood OSA and severe asthma and given the involvement of airway inflammation in both conditions, might adenotonsillectomy also improve childhood asthma? Here, the researchers analyze data from the MarketScan database, a large database of US patients with private health insurance, to investigate whether adenotonsillectomy is associated with improvements in asthma outcomes and with reductions in the use of asthma therapies in children.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used the database to identify 13,506 children with asthma who had undergone adenotonsillectomy and to obtain information about asthma outcomes among these children for the year before and the year after the operation. Because asthma severity tends to decrease with age, the researchers also used the database to identify 27,012 age-, sex-, and geographically matched children with asthma who did not have the operation so that they could examine asthma outcomes over an equivalent two-year period in the absence of complications related to adenotonsillar hypertrophy. Comparing the year after adenotonsillectomy with the year before the operation, adenotonsillectomy was associated with a 30% reduction in acute asthma exacerbations, a 37.9% reduction in acute status asthmaticus (an asthma attack that is unresponsive to the drugs usually used to treat attacks), a 25.6% reduction in asthma-related emergency room visits, and a 35.8% reduction in asthma-related hospitalizations. By contrast, among the control children, there was only a 2% reduction in acute asthma exacerbations and only a 7% reduction in acute status asthmaticus over an equivalent two-year period. Adenotonsillectomy was also associated with significant reductions (changes unlikely to have occurred by chance) in prescription refills for most types of drugs used to treat asthma, whereas there were no significant reductions in prescription refills among children with asthma who had not undergone adenotonsillectomy. The study was limited by the lack of measures of race and obesity, which are both associated with severity of asthma.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that in a large sample of privately insured children in the US, adenotonsillectomy was associated with significant improvements in several asthma outcomes. These results do not show, however, that adenotonsillectomy caused a reduction in the severity of childhood asthma. It could be that the children who underwent adenotonsillectomy (but not those who did not have the operation) shared another unknown factor that led to improvements in their asthma over time. To prove a causal link, it will be necessary to undertake a randomized controlled trial in which the outcomes of groups of children with asthma who are chosen at random to undergo or not undergo adenotonsillectomy are compared. However, with the proviso that there are some risks associated with adenotonsillectomy, these findings suggest that the detection and treatment of adenotonsillar hypertrophy may help to improve asthma control in children.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on asthma, including videos, games, and links to other resources for children with asthma
The American Lung Association provides detailed information about asthma and a fact sheet on asthma in children; it also has information about obstructive sleep apnea
The National Sleep Foundation provides information on snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in children
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information (including some personal stories) about asthma, about asthma in children, and about obstructive sleep apnea
The “Global Asthma Report 2014” will be available in October 2014
MedlinePlus provides links to further information on asthma, on asthma in children, on sleep apnea, and on tonsils and adenoids (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4219664  PMID: 25369282
20.  Air Trapping on Chest CT Is Associated with Worse Ventilation Distribution in Infants with Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosed following Newborn Screening 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23932.
In school-aged children with cystic fibrosis (CF) structural lung damage assessed using chest CT is associated with abnormal ventilation distribution. The primary objective of this analysis was to determine the relationships between ventilation distribution outcomes and the presence and extent of structural damage as assessed by chest CT in infants and young children with CF.
Data of infants and young children with CF diagnosed following newborn screening consecutively reviewed between August 2005 and December 2009 were analysed. Ventilation distribution (lung clearance index and the first and second moment ratios [LCI, M1/M0 and M2/M0, respectively]), chest CT and airway pathology from bronchoalveolar lavage were determined at diagnosis and then annually. The chest CT scans were evaluated for the presence or absence of bronchiectasis and air trapping.
Matched lung function, chest CT and pathology outcomes were available in 49 infants (31 male) with bronchiectasis and air trapping present in 13 (27%) and 24 (49%) infants, respectively. The presence of bronchiectasis or air trapping was associated with increased M2/M0 but not LCI or M1/M0. There was a weak, but statistically significant association between the extent of air trapping and all ventilation distribution outcomes.
These findings suggest that in early CF lung disease there are weak associations between ventilation distribution and lung damage from chest CT. These finding are in contrast to those reported in older children. These findings suggest that assessments of LCI could not be used to replace a chest CT scan for the assessment of structural lung disease in the first two years of life. Further research in which both MBW and chest CT outcomes are obtained is required to assess the role of ventilation distribution in tracking the progression of lung damage in infants with CF.
PMCID: PMC3158781  PMID: 21886842
21.  Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction Using Three Dimensional Processing (AIDR3D) Improves Chest CT Image Quality and Reduces Radiation Exposure 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105735.
To assess the advantages of Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction using Three Dimensional Processing (AIDR3D) for image quality improvement and dose reduction for chest computed tomography (CT).
Institutional Review Boards approved this study and informed consent was obtained. Eighty-eight subjects underwent chest CT at five institutions using identical scanners and protocols. During a single visit, each subject was scanned using different tube currents: 240, 120, and 60 mA. Scan data were converted to images using AIDR3D and a conventional reconstruction mode (without AIDR3D). Using a 5-point scale from 1 (non-diagnostic) to 5 (excellent), three blinded observers independently evaluated image quality for three lung zones, four patterns of lung disease (nodule/mass, emphysema, bronchiolitis, and diffuse lung disease), and three mediastinal measurements (small structure visibility, streak artifacts, and shoulder artifacts). Differences in these scores were assessed by Scheffe's test.
At each tube current, scans using AIDR3D had higher scores than those without AIDR3D, which were significant for lung zones (p<0.0001) and all mediastinal measurements (p<0.01). For lung diseases, significant improvements with AIDR3D were frequently observed at 120 and 60 mA. Scans with AIDR3D at 120 mA had significantly higher scores than those without AIDR3D at 240 mA for lung zones and mediastinal streak artifacts (p<0.0001), and slightly higher or equal scores for all other measurements. Scans with AIDR3D at 60 mA were also judged superior or equivalent to those without AIDR3D at 120 mA.
For chest CT, AIDR3D provides better image quality and can reduce radiation exposure by 50%.
PMCID: PMC4143266  PMID: 25153797
22.  Lung Function and Respiratory Symptoms at 11 Years in Children Born Extremely Preterm 
Rationale: The long-term respiratory sequelae of infants born extremely preterm (EP) and now graduating from neonatal intensive care remains uncertain.
Objectives: To assess the degree of respiratory morbidity and functional impairment at 11 years in children born EP (i.e., at or less than 25 completed weeks of gestation) in relation to neonatal determinants and current clinical status.
Methods: Pre- and postbronchodilator spirometry were undertaken at school in children born EP and classroom control subjects. Physical examination and respiratory health questionnaires were completed. Multivariable regression was used to estimate the predictive power of potential determinants of lung function.
Measurements and Main Results: Spirometry was obtained in 182 of 219 children born EP (129 with prior bronchopulmonary dysplasia [BPD]) and 161 of 169 classmates, matched for age, sex, and ethnic group. Children born EP had significantly more chest deformities and respiratory symptoms than classmates, with twice as many (25 vs. 13%; P < 0.01) having a current diagnosis of asthma. Baseline spirometry was significantly reduced (P < 0.001) and bronchodilator responsiveness was increased in those born EP, the changes being most marked in those with prior BPD. EP birth, BPD, current symptoms, and treatment with β-agonists are each associated independently with lung function z-scores (adjusted for age, sex, and height) at 11 years. Fifty-six percent of children born EP had abnormal baseline spirometry and 27% had a positive bronchodilator response, but less than half of those with impaired lung function were receiving any medication.
Conclusions: After extremely preterm birth, impaired lung function and increased respiratory morbidity persist into middle childhood, especially among those with BPD. Many of these children may not be receiving appropriate treatment.
PMCID: PMC2913237  PMID: 20378729
prematurity; lung function; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; long-term follow-up
23.  Pulmonary Outcome Differences in U.S. and French Cystic Fibrosis Cohorts Diagnosed through Newborn Screening 
A comparison of the longitudinal progression of lung disease in cystic fibrosis patients identified through newborn screening (NBS) in cohorts located in two different countries has never been performed and was the primary objective of this study.
The study included 56 patients in Brittany diagnosed through NBS between 1989 and 1994 and 69 similar patients in Wisconsin between 1985 and 1994. The onset and progression of lung disease was radiographically quantified using the Wisconsin Chest X-ray (WCXR) scoring system. A single pediatric pulmonologist blinded to all identifiers scored the films.
Generalized estimating equation analyses adjusted for age, genotype, sex, pancreatic insufficiency, and meconium ileus showed worse WCXR scores in Brittany patients compared to Wisconsin patients (average score difference=4.48; p<0.001). Percent predicted FEV1 was also worse among Brittany patients (p<0.001).
The finding of milder radiographically-quantified lung disease using the WCXR scoring system, as well as better FEV1 values, may be explained by variations in nutrition, environmental exposures, or healthcare delivery.
PMCID: PMC2818431  PMID: 19926349
cystic fibrosis; Wisconsin; Brittany; chest x-ray; infection; genotype
24.  Evaluation of the Lung Cancer Risks at Which to Screen Ever- and Never-Smokers: Screening Rules Applied to the PLCO and NLST Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(12):e1001764.
Martin Tammemägi and colleagues evaluate which risk groups of individuals, including nonsmokers and high-risk individuals from 65 to 80 years of age, should be screened for lung cancer using computed tomography.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Lung cancer risks at which individuals should be screened with computed tomography (CT) for lung cancer are undecided. This study's objectives are to identify a risk threshold for selecting individuals for screening, to compare its efficiency with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) criteria for identifying screenees, and to determine whether never-smokers should be screened. Lung cancer risks are compared between smokers aged 55–64 and ≥65–80 y.
Methods and Findings
Applying the PLCOm2012 model, a model based on 6-y lung cancer incidence, we identified the risk threshold above which National Lung Screening Trial (NLST, n = 53,452) CT arm lung cancer mortality rates were consistently lower than rates in the chest X-ray (CXR) arm. We evaluated the USPSTF and PLCOm2012 risk criteria in intervention arm (CXR) smokers (n = 37,327) of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). The numbers of smokers selected for screening, and the sensitivities, specificities, and positive predictive values (PPVs) for identifying lung cancers were assessed. A modified model (PLCOall2014) evaluated risks in never-smokers. At PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, the 65th percentile of risk, the NLST CT arm mortality rates are consistently below the CXR arm's rates. The number needed to screen to prevent one lung cancer death in the 65th to 100th percentile risk group is 255 (95% CI 143 to 1,184), and in the 30th to <65th percentile risk group is 963 (95% CI 291 to −754); the number needed to screen could not be estimated in the <30th percentile risk group because of absence of lung cancer deaths. When applied to PLCO intervention arm smokers, compared to the USPSTF criteria, the PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 threshold selected 8.8% fewer individuals for screening (p<0.001) but identified 12.4% more lung cancers (sensitivity 80.1% [95% CI 76.8%–83.0%] versus 71.2% [95% CI 67.6%–74.6%], p<0.001), had fewer false-positives (specificity 66.2% [95% CI 65.7%–66.7%] versus 62.7% [95% CI 62.2%–63.1%], p<0.001), and had higher PPV (4.2% [95% CI 3.9%–4.6%] versus 3.4% [95% CI 3.1%–3.7%], p<0.001). In total, 26% of individuals selected for screening based on USPSTF criteria had risks below the threshold PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151. Of PLCO former smokers with quit time >15 y, 8.5% had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151. None of 65,711 PLCO never-smokers had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151. Risks and lung cancers were significantly greater in PLCO smokers aged ≥65–80 y than in those aged 55–64 y. This study omitted cost-effectiveness analysis.
The USPSTF criteria for CT screening include some low-risk individuals and exclude some high-risk individuals. Use of the PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 criterion can improve screening efficiency. Currently, never-smokers should not be screened. Smokers aged ≥65–80 y are a high-risk group who may benefit from screening.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Lung cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the world and the most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Like all cancers, lung cancer occurs when cells acquire genetic changes that allow them to grow uncontrollably and to move around the body (metastasize). The most common trigger for these genetic changes in lung cancer is exposure to cigarette smoke. Symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough and breathlessness. If lung cancer is diagnosed when it is confined to the lung (stage I), the tumor can often be removed surgically. Stage II tumors, which have spread into nearby lymph nodes, are usually treated with surgery plus chemotherapy or radiotherapy. For more advanced lung cancers that have spread throughout the chest (stage III) or the body (stage IV), surgery is rarely helpful and these tumors are treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy alone. Overall, because most lung cancers are not detected until they are advanced, less than 17% of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive for five years.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening for lung cancer—looking for early disease in healthy people—could save lives. In the US National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), annual screening with computed tomography (CT) reduced lung cancer mortality by 20% among smokers at high risk of developing cancer compared with screening with a chest X-ray. But what criteria should be used to decide who is screened for lung cancer? The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), for example, recommends annual CT screening of people who are 55–80 years old, have smoked 30 or more pack-years (one pack-year is defined as a pack of cigarettes per day for one year), and—if they are former smokers—quit smoking less than 15 years ago. However, some experts think lung cancer risk prediction models—statistical models that estimate risk based on numerous personal characteristics—should be used to select people for screening. Here, the researchers evaluate PLCOm2012, a lung cancer risk prediction model based on the incidence of lung cancer among smokers enrolled in the US Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). Specifically, the researchers use NLST and PLCO screening trial data to identify a PLCOm2012 risk threshold for selecting people for screening and to compare the efficiency of the PLCOm2012 model and the USPSTF criteria for identifying “screenees.”
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
By analyzing NLST data, the researchers calculated that at PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, mortality (death) rates among NLST participants screened with CT were consistently below mortality rates among NLST participants screened with chest X-ray and that 255 people with a PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 would need to be screened to prevent one lung cancer death. Next, they used data collected from smokers in the screened arm of the PLCO trial to compare the efficiency of the PLCOm2012 and USPSTF criteria for identifying screenees. They found that 8.8% fewer people had a PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 than met USPSTF criteria for screening, but 12.4% more lung cancers were identified. Thus, using PLCOm2012 improved the sensitivity and specificity of the selection of individuals for lung cancer screening over using UPSTF criteria. Notably, 8.5% of PLCO former smokers with quit times of more than 15 years had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, none of the PLCO never-smokers had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, and the calculated risks and incidence of lung cancer were greater among PLCO smokers aged ≥65–80 years than among those aged 55–64 years.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Despite the absence of a cost-effectiveness analysis in this study, these findings suggest that the use of the PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 threshold rather than USPSTF criteria for selecting individuals for lung cancer screening could improve screening efficiency. The findings have several other important implications. First, these findings suggest that screening may be justified in people who stopped smoking more than 15 years ago; USPSTF currently recommends that screening stop once an individual's quit time exceeds 15 years. Second, these findings do not support lung cancer screening among never-smokers. Finally, these findings suggest that smokers aged ≥65–80 years might benefit from screening, although the presence of additional illnesses and reduced life expectancy need to be considered before recommending the provision of routine lung cancer screening to this section of the population.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about all aspects of lung cancer for patients and health-care professionals, including information on lung cancer screening (in English and Spanish)
Cancer Research UK also provides detailed information about lung cancer and about lung cancer screening
The UK National Health Service Choices website has a page on lung cancer that includes personal stories
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information about lung cancer (in English and Spanish)
Information about the USPSTF recommendations for lung cancer screening is available
PMCID: PMC4251899  PMID: 25460915
25.  Lung Clearance Index and High-Resolution Computed Tomography Scores in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia 
Rationale: Lung clearance index (LCI) is a more sensitive measure of lung function than spirometry in cystic fibrosis (CF) and correlates well with abnormalities in high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scanning. We hypothesized LCI would be equally sensitive to lung disease in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD).
Objectives: To test the relationships between LCI, spirometry, and HRCT in PCD and to compare them to the established relationships in CF.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of 127 patients with CF and 33 patients with PCD, all of whom had spirometry and LCI, of which a subset of 21 of each had HRCT performed. HRCT was scored for individual features and these features compared with physiological parameters.
Measurements and Main Results: Unlike in CF, and contrary to our hypothesis, there was no correlation between spirometry and LCI in PCD and no correlation between HRCT features and LCI or spirometry in PCD.
Conclusions: We show for the first time that HRCT, spirometry, and LCI have different relationships in different airway diseases and that LCI does not appear to be a sensitive test of airway disease in advanced PCD. We hypothesize that this results from dissimilarities between the components of large and small airway disease in CF and PCD. These differences may in part lead to the different prognosis in these two neutrophilic airway diseases.
PMCID: PMC3827705  PMID: 23815669
spirometry; high-resolution computed tomography; lung clearance index

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