Bronchiectasis: comparative assessment with thin-section CT and helical CT

Radiology. 1996 Sep;200(3):673-9. doi: 10.1148/radiology.200.3.8756913.


Purpose: To compare thin-section computed tomography (CT) and helical CT in the detection and assessment of the extent of bronchiectasis.

Materials and methods: Both thin-section and helical CT scans were obtained in 50 consecutive patients with clinical symptoms suggestive of bronchiectasis. Thin-section CT was performed with 1.5-mm collimation and 10-mm intervals, and helical CT was performed with 3-mm collimation and a pitch of 1.6 during a 24-second breath hold. Three observers evaluated 593 segments on CT scans both independently and in consensus. Radiation dose was measured for both techniques.

Results: Bronchiectasis was noted in 77 segments (22 patients) on thin-section CT scans compared with 90 segments (26 patients) on helical CT scans. No findings were positive for bronchiectasis on only thin-section CT scans. Interobserver agreement was statistically significantly better (P < .05) in identification of segments that were positive for bronchiectasis on helical CT scans (kappa = 0.87) than on thin-section CT scans (kappa = 0.71). Total skin dose of radiation delivered with helical CT was 3.4 times greater than that delivered with thin-section CT.

Conclusion: Helical scanning can improve CT depiction of bronchiectasis but with an increase in radiation exposure to the patient. It should be used in patients considered for surgery or for thin-section CT scans that are difficult to interpret.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Recurrence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data