Evolution of CT findings in patients with cystic fibrosis

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999 Jul;173(1):81-8. doi: 10.2214/ajr.173.1.10397104.


Objective: The aim of our study was to assess the evolution of pulmonary CT findings in cystic fibrosis patients.

Materials and methods: Serial CT examinations were performed in four different follow-up periods on 107 patients with cystic fibrosis. Lung images of the initial and follow-up CT were reviewed and scored for specific morphologic findings. CT findings were correlated with the results of the pulmonary function tests and clinical (Shwachman-Kulczycki) scores.

Results: Morphologic changes were minor within the first 18 months of follow-up compared with the period after 18 months. The increase of the overall score was significantly higher in groups with follow-up periods longer than 18 months compared with groups with follow-up periods shorter than 18 months. Various components of morphologic changes contributed to the sequential changes seen on the CT scans. All morphologic changes and the CT scores correlated significantly (p < .0001) with pulmonary function tests and clinical score. CONCLUSION. Serial CT scans allow assessment of the evolution of pulmonary abnormalities in patients with cystic fibrosis. CT seems to have advantages over pulmonary function tests and clinical scoring in the depiction of pulmonary changes over time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Maximal Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Vital Capacity