Clinical utility of computed tomographic lung volumes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Respiration. 2014;87(3):196-203. doi: 10.1159/000355097. Epub 2013 Dec 7.


Background: Published data concerning the utility of computed tomography (CT)-based lung volumes are limited to correlation with lung function.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of the CT expiratory-to-inspiratory lung volume ratio (CT Vratio) by assessing the relationship with clinically relevant outcomes.

Methods: A total of 75 stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients having pulmonary function testing and volumetric CT at full inspiration and expiration were retrospectively evaluated. Inspiratory and expiratory CT lung volumes were measured using in-house software. Correlation of the CT Vratio with patient-centered outcomes, including the modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) dyspnea score, the 6-min walk distance (6MWD), the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score, and multidimensional COPD severity indices, such as the BMI, airflow obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity index (BODE) and age, dyspnea, and airflow obstruction (ADO), were analyzed.

Results: The CT Vratio correlated significantly with BMI (r = -0.528, p < 0.001). The CT Vratio was also significantly associated with MMRC dyspnea (r = 0.387, p = 0.001), 6MWD (r = -0.459, p < 0.001), and SGRQ (r = 0.369, p = 0.001) scores. Finally, the CT Vratio had significant correlations with the BODE and ADO multidimensional COPD severity indices (r = 0.605, p < 0.001; r = 0.411, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The CT Vratio had significant correlations with patient-centered outcomes and multidimensional COPD severity indices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*