Airway Remodelling in Asthma and COPD: Findings, Similarities, and Differences Using Quantitative CT

Pulm Med. 2012;2012:670414. doi: 10.1155/2012/670414. Epub 2012 Feb 16.


Airway remodelling is a well-established feature in asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), secondary to chronic airway inflammation. The structural changes found on pathological examination of remodelled airway wall have been shown to display similarities but also differences. Computed tomography (CT) is today a remarkable tool to assess airway wall morphology in vivo since submillimetric acquisitions over the whole lung volume could be obtained allowing 3D evaluation. Recently, CT-derived indices extracted from CT images have been described and are thought to assess airway remodelling. This may help understand the complex mechanism underlying the remodelling process, which is still not fully understood. This paper summarizes the various methods described to quantify airway remodelling in asthma and COPD using CT, and similarities and differences between both diseases will be emphasized.