Relationship between current smoking, visual CT findings and emphysema index in cigarette smokers

Clin Imaging. 2019 Jan-Feb;53:195-199. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2018.10.024. Epub 2018 Oct 31.


Purpose: To evaluate whether visual CT findings could account for the effect of current smoking.

Methods: 500 CT scans were visually evaluated within each lobe. A multivariate model for emphysema index was constructed containing previously described confounders in addition to the visual components associated with smoking status.

Results: Current smokers displayed 23% less visual emphysema, 19% more airway wall thickening, and 188% more centrilogular nodule than former smokers (all p < 0.001). The effect of current smoking on the emphysema index decreased after adjustment with confounders and visual parameters.

Conclusions: Visual CT findings could partially account for the effect of current smoking.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Emphysema; Quantitative computed tomography; Smoking.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / etiology
  • Smokers*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*