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.
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