OBJECTIVE: In lung cancer screening, the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms is high among heavy smokers. The purpose of this study was to compare CT-derived airway wall measurements between male smokers with and those without chronic respiratory symptoms.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty male heavy smokers with chronic respiratory symptoms (cough, excessive mucus secretion, dyspnea, and wheezing) and 50 without any respiratory symptom were randomly selected from the Dutch-Belgian Randomized Lung Cancer Screening Trial. Thin-slice low-dose CT images were evaluated with dedicated software for airway measurements. Wall area percentage and airway wall thickness were measured from trachea to bronchi in five different pulmonary lobes of airways with a luminal diameter of 5 mm or greater. Association between airway wall measurements and respiratory symptoms was analyzed by multiple linear regression adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking status, emphysema, and pulmonary function.
RESULTS: After adjustment for relevant factors, a significant positive association between airway wall measurements and respiratory symptoms was found in airways with a luminal diameter between 5 to 10 mm (p < 0.01), but not in airways measuring 10 mm or greater (p > 0.05). At the airway level between 5 to 10 mm, the mean wall area percentages were 51.5% ± 7.9%. Airway wall thicknesses were 1.54 ± 0.39 mm and 1.37 ± 0.35 mm (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Male heavy smokers with chronic respiratory symptoms in lung cancer screening, who are at high-risk of chronic bronchitis, have bronchial wall thickening in airways with a luminal diameter of 5-10 mm but not in larger airways.
- airway wall thickening
- chronic bronchitis
- large airway
- respiratory symptoms
- OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY-DISEASE
- QUANTITATIVE COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY
- FLOW LIMITATION
- MULTIDETECTOR CT
- VOLUMETRIC CT
- SECTION CT