Assessment of bronchiectasis: comparison of HRCT and spiral volumetric CT

J Comput Assist Tomogr. 1996 Jan-Feb;20(1):15-9. doi: 10.1097/00004728-199601000-00004.


Objective: Our goal was to ascertain the sensitivity of spiral CT for the detection of bronchiectasis in comparison with high resolution CT (HRCT).

Materials and methods: Thirty-one patients with a suspected clinical diagnosis of bronchiectasis were evaluated with spiral CT (slice thickness 5 mm, pitch 1, reconstruction index 2 mm, 1 s rotation) and HRCT (1.5 mm, interval 10 mm). Analysis of the presence, type, and severity of bronchiectasis was performed for each bronchopulmonary lobe.

Results: In 30 patients, 177 lobes were evaluated. At HRCT 14 patients showed signs of bronchiectasis in 32 lobes. Spiral CT confirmed the presence in 29 lobes. In one lobe spiral CT was false positive. The severity score was the same in 23 lobes, in 4 lobes higher at HRCT, and in 2 lobes higher at spiral CT. Spiral CT has a high sensitivity of 91% to detect bronchiectasis with a specificity of 99.3%. Spiral CT demonstrates adequately lack of tapering of the bronchus.

Conclusion: In patients with suspected bronchiectasis, HRCT is the method of first choice based on greater sensitivity and lower radiation dose. However, spiral CT done for other indications is a reliable method for assessment of bronchiectasis. Inability of patients to hold their breath did not prove to interfere with diagnostic reliability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bronchography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lung / blood supply
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiration
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*