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1.  Influence of Chronic Sinusitis and Nasal Polyp on the Lower Airway of Subjects Without Lower Airway Diseases 
Upper and lower respiratory tract pathologies are believed to be interrelated; however, the impact of upper airway inflammation on lung function in subjects without lung disease has not been evaluated. This study investigated the association of CT finding suggesting chronic sinusitis and lung function in healthy subjects without lung disease.
This was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data from 284 subjects who underwent a pulmonary function test, bronchial provocation test, rhinoscopy, and osteomeatal unit computed tomography offered as a private health check-up option.
CT findings showed that the sinusitis group had a significantly lower FEV1/FVC ratio than subjects without sinusitis finding (78.62% vs 84.19%, P=0.019). Among the sinusitis group, subjects classified by CT findings as the extensive disease group had a slightly lower FEV1/FVC than those of the limited disease group (76.6% vs 79.5%, P=0.014) and the associations were independent of the presence of airway hyperresponsiveness. The subjects with nasal polyp had also lower FEV1 and FEV1/FVC than subjects without nasal polyp (FEV1: 100.0% vs 103.6%, P=0.045, FEV1/FVC: 77.4% vs 80.0%, P=0.005).
CT findings suggesting chronic sinusitis and nasal polyp were associated with subclinical lower airway flow limitation even in the absence of underlying lung disease.
PMCID: PMC4077957  PMID: 24991454
Bronchial hyperresponsiveness; computed tomography; nasal polyp; pulmonary function test; sinusitis
2.  Computer-Aided Classification of Visual Ventilation Patterns in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at Two-Phase Xenon-Enhanced CT 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2014;15(3):386-396.
To evaluate the technical feasibility, performance, and interobserver agreement of a computer-aided classification (CAC) system for regional ventilation at two-phase xenon-enhanced CT in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Materials and Methods
Thirty-eight patients with COPD underwent two-phase xenon ventilation CT with resulting wash-in (WI) and wash-out (WO) xenon images. The regional ventilation in structural abnormalities was visually categorized into four patterns by consensus of two experienced radiologists who compared the xenon attenuation of structural abnormalities with that of adjacent normal parenchyma in the WI and WO images, and it served as the reference. Two series of image datasets of structural abnormalities were randomly extracted for optimization and validation. The proportion of agreement on a per-lesion basis and receiver operating characteristics on a per-pixel basis between CAC and reference were analyzed for optimization. Thereafter, six readers independently categorized the regional ventilation in structural abnormalities in the validation set without and with a CAC map. Interobserver agreement was also compared between assessments without and with CAC maps using multirater κ statistics.
Computer-aided classification maps were successfully generated in 31 patients (81.5%). The proportion of agreement and the average area under the curve of optimized CAC maps were 94% (75/80) and 0.994, respectively. Multirater κ value was improved from moderate (κ = 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-0.62) at the initial assessment to excellent (κ = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.85) with the CAC map.
Our proposed CAC system demonstrated the potential for regional ventilation pattern analysis and enhanced interobserver agreement on visual classification of regional ventilation.
PMCID: PMC4023059  PMID: 24843245
Computer-aided classification; Computed tomography; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Regional ventilation; Xenon CT
3.  Impact of sputum gross appearance and volume on smear positivity of pulmonary tuberculosis: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:172.
Although checking specimen quality upon sputum collection for acid-fast smear of suspected tuberculosis (TB) cases is recommended, this procedure is based on expert opinion. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the impact of sputum gross appearance and volume on smear positivity among patients with suspected pulmonary TB, according to sex.
From November 2010 through June 2011, we enrolled consecutive patients suspected to have active pulmonary TB. The association of sputum gross appearance and volume with smear positivity, along with other variables possibly affecting smear positivity such as symptoms, disease extent, and cavity on chest radiograph, were investigated.
Among 2,439 patients undergoing TB examination, 170 (113 men, 57 women) with active pulmonary TB were enrolled. They submitted 492 sputa. There were 73 smear-positive patients (42.9%) and 164 smear-positive sputa (33.3%). While gross appearance was associated with smear positivity in both sexes (purulent or blood-tinged sputum (rather than mucoid sputum or saliva); odds ratio (OR), 2.05, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.21–3.47 in men; OR, 2.78, 95% CI, 1.23–6.26 in women), the amount of sputum specimens was associated with smear positivity in only female patients (≥4 ml versus <4 ml; OR, 4.96, 95% CI, 1.98–12.37).
Sputum gross appearance and volume were associated with smear positivity. A volume of 4 ml seems to be the the minimum sputum volume acceptable for smear microscopy in females suspected of TB. Those suspected of TB should be encouraged to expectorate grossly qualified sputum specimens.
PMCID: PMC3449203  PMID: 22853561
Smear microscopy; Sputum; Tuberculosis

Results 1-3 (3)