CT-based emphysema characterization per lobe: A proof of concept

Hendrik Joost Wisselink, Xiaofei Yang, Mieneke Rook, Marjolein A Heuvelmans, Wenzhen Jiang, Jianing Zhang, Yihui Du, Marleen Vonder, Monique D Dorrius, Zhaoxiang Ye, Geertruida H de Bock, Rozemarijn Vliegenthart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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PURPOSE: The Fleischner society criteria are global criteria to visually evaluate and classify pulmonary emphysema on CT. It may group heterogeneous disease severity within the same category, potentially obscuring clinically relevant differences in emphysema severity. This proof-of-concept study proposes to split emphysema into more categories and to assess each lobe separately, and applies this to two general population-based cohort samples to assess what information such an extension adds.

METHOD: From a consecutive sample in two general population-based cohorts with low-dose chest CT, 117 participants with more than a trace of emphysema were included. Two independent readers performed an extended per-lobe classification and assessed overall severity semi-quantitatively. An emphysema sum score was determined by adding the severity score of all lobes. Inter-reader agreement was quantified with Krippendorff Alpha.

RESULTS: Based on Fleischner society criteria, 69 cases had mild to severe centrilobular emphysema, and 90 cases had mild or moderate paraseptal emphysema (42 had both types of emphysema). The emphysema sum score was significantly different between mild (10.7 ± 4.3, range 2-22), moderate (20.1 ± 3.1, range: 15-24), and severe emphysema (23.6 ± 3.4, range: 17-28, p < 0.001), but ranges showed significant overlap. Inter-reader agreement for the extended classification and sum score was substantial (alpha 0.79 and 0.85, respectively). Distribution was homogenous across lobes in never-smokers, yet heterogenous in current smokers, with upper-lobe predominance.

CONCLUSIONS: The proposed emphysema evaluation method adds information to the original Fleischner society classification. Individuals in the same Fleischner category have diverse emphysema sum scores, and lobar emphysema distribution differs between smoking groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110709
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Early online date26-Jan-2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2023

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