Rationale: Lung clearance index (LCI) is a more sensitive measure of lung function than spirometry in cystic fibrosis (CF) and correlates well with abnormalities in high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scanning. We hypothesized LCI would be equally sensitive to lung disease in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD).
Objectives: To test the relationships between LCI, spirometry, and HRCT in PCD and to compare them to the established relationships in CF.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of 127 patients with CF and 33 patients with PCD, all of whom had spirometry and LCI, of which a subset of 21 of each had HRCT performed. HRCT was scored for individual features and these features compared with physiological parameters.
Measurements and main results: Unlike in CF, and contrary to our hypothesis, there was no correlation between spirometry and LCI in PCD and no correlation between HRCT features and LCI or spirometry in PCD.
Conclusions: We show for the first time that HRCT, spirometry, and LCI have different relationships in different airway diseases and that LCI does not appear to be a sensitive test of airway disease in advanced PCD. We hypothesize that this results from dissimilarities between the components of large and small airway disease in CF and PCD. These differences may in part lead to the different prognosis in these two neutrophilic airway diseases.