High-resolution CT of the chest in children and young adults who were born prematurely: findings in a population-based study

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2006 Oct;187(4):1012-8. doi: 10.2214/AJR.05.0383.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to use a scoring system for high-resolution CT in the evaluation of radiologic findings in young people born extremely preterm and to examine the reproducibility of this scoring system.

Subjects and methods: High-resolution CT of the lungs was assessed in 72 children born at a gestational age of < or = 28 weeks or with a birth weight of < or = 1,000 g within a defined region in western Norway in 1982-1985 (n = 40) or in 1991-1992 (n = 32). All images were analyzed by two pediatric radiologists using a scoring system in which a total of 14 features were assessed.

Results: Sixty-three (88%) of the subjects had abnormal findings, the most common being linear opacities (n = 52), triangular opacities (n = 42), air trapping (n = 19), and mosaic perfusion (n = 10). Right and left lungs were equally affected. There were fewer abnormalities in the younger age group (born in 1991-1992). Intraobserver agreement and interobserver agreement were moderate (weighted kappa = 0.54 and kappa = 0.52, respectively). Fifty-six of the 72 children had a clinical diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and the median total score and the median scores of the four most common findings were higher in the bronchopulmonary dysplasia group; however, the differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: High-resolution CT in young people of preterm birth revealed abnormal radiologic findings in 81.3% of the patients at age 10 years and 92.5% at age 18 years. Linear, triangular, and subpleural opacities were the most common. The reproducibility of the applied scoring system was acceptable.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / complications
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*