Chest radiography and high resolution computed tomography of the lungs in asthma

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Oct;146(4):1084-7. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/146.4.1084.


CT scans have been studied only in asthmatics who were smokers, and no such study has been performed in patients with chronic uncomplicated asthma where a permanent bronchial destruction is likely to occur after a long course of the disease. The object of the study was to characterize CT-scan abnormalities and determine whether bronchial destructive lesions may be observed. Fifty-seven adults with chronic asthma of variable severity and etiology and 10 normal subjects were studied. None of the subjects smoked. Chest radiographs and HR-CT scans were performed in all patients. To discriminate between reversible and irreversible CT-scan abnormalities, two examinations were made in 10 patients with acute asthma both before and 2 wk after parenteral high dose corticosteroid treatment. The chest radiographs showed the expected abnormalities of asthma in 37.8% of the asthmatics. CT scans were abnormal in 71.9% of the asthmatics. Reversible abnormalities included mucoid impactions, acinar pattern, and lobar collapse. Irreversible abnormalities included bronchiectasis, bronchial wall-thickening, sequellar line shadows, and emphysema. Most of these abnormalities are likely to be related to bronchial destruction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Albuterol / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Albuterol
  • Methylprednisolone