Bronchiectasis: assessment by thin-section CT

Radiology. 1986 Oct;161(1):95-9. doi: 10.1148/radiology.161.1.3763889.


To assess the accuracy of computed tomography (CT) in the evaluation of bronchiectasis, we performed thin-section CT in 36 patients with clinical findings suggestive of this diagnosis. CT was performed with 1.5-mm section thickness and 10-mm intersection spacing. Bilateral (eight patients) and unilateral (28 patients) bronchograms were obtained. CT and bronchographic findings were correlated in 44 lungs. In 15 lungs no bronchiectasis was observed on CT scans and bronchograms. In 25 lungs both examinations accurately indicated the presence and extent of bronchiectasis. In two lungs the extent of disease was underestimated on CT, which failed to indicate bronchiectasis in one segment of the affected lobe. In one case CT findings suggested focal bronchial disease, but the lung was misinterpreted as not bronchiectatic; the bronchogram showed cylindric bronchiectasis. In one case CT disclosed cylindric bronchiectasis in a lobe that was bronchographically normal, but in this case the bronchogram was probably misinterpreted as false negative. In two cases lung findings were better visualized on CT scans than on bronchograms. It is concluded that thin-section CT is an accurate procedure in the recognition of bronchiectasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*