Chest computed tomography scores are predictive of survival in patients with cystic fibrosis awaiting lung transplantation

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 May 15;185(10):1096-103. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201111-2065OC. Epub 2012 Mar 8.


Rationale: Up to one-third of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) awaiting lung transplantation (LTX) die while waiting. Inclusion of computed tomography (CT) scores may improve survival prediction models such as the lung allocation score (LAS).

Objectives: This study investigated the association between CT and survival in patients with CF screened for LTX.

Methods: Clinical data and chest CTs of 411 patients with CF screened for LTX between 1990 and 2005 were collected from 17 centers. CTs were scored with the Severe Advanced Lung Disease (SALD) four-category scoring system, including the components infection/inflammation (INF), air trapping/hypoperfusion (AT), normal/hyperperfusion (NOR), and bulla/cysts (BUL). The volume of each component was computed using semiautomated software. Survival analysis included Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox regression models.

Measurements and main results: Three hundred and sixty-six (186 males) of 411 patients entered the waiting list (median age, 23 yr; range, 5-58 yr). Subsequently, 67 of 366 (18%) died while waiting, 263 of 366 (72%) underwent LTX, and 36 of 366 (10%) were awaiting LTX at the census date. INF and LAS were significantly associated with waiting list mortality in univariate analyses. The multivariate Cox model including INF and LAS grouped in tertiles, and comparing tertiles 2 and 3 with tertile 1, showed waiting list mortality hazard ratios of 1.62 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.78-3.36; P = 0.19) and 2.65 (95% CI, 1.35-5.20; P = 0.005) for INF, and 1.42 (95% CI, 0.63-3.24; P = 0.40), and 2.32 (95% CI, 1.17-4.60; P = 0.016) for LAS, respectively. These results indicated that INF and LAS had significant, independent predictive value for survival.

Conclusions: CT score INF correlates with survival, and adds to the predictive value of LAS.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / mortality
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Waiting Lists / mortality*
  • Young Adult