Purpose: To compare quantitative computed tomographic (CT) and preoperative physiologic values in emphysema with outcome after lung-volume reduction surgery.
Materials and methods: In 46 patients, emphysema was quantified by measuring lung attenuation on preoperative CT scans. Quantitative CT and preoperative physiologic values and postoperative outcomes (1-second forced expiratory volume, PaO2, and 6-minute walk distance) were compared.
Results: Moderately strong correlations were found between several quantitative CT and preoperative physiologic values (magnitude of r = .29-.58, P < .05) and several quantitative CT and outcome measures (magnitude of r = .31-.47, P < .05). With stratification, postoperative outcome was better with mean lung attenuation greater than -900 HU; 75% or greater of upper lung below -900 HU (emphysema index); greater than 25% of lung below -960 HU (severe emphysema index); ratio of upper- and lower-lung emphysema indexes 1.5 or greater; volume of normally attenuated lung (-850 to -701 HU) greater than 1 L; and full width at half maximum of attenuation-frequency distribution 80 HU or less. Differences in outcome measures between groups stratified with quantitative CT values were often two- to threefold; patients with greater numbers of favorable quantitative CT values had better outcome. Correlations between preoperative physiologic measures and outcome were few.
Conclusion: In emphysema, quantitative CT values correlate with outcome. Quantitative assessment of emphysema in candidates for lung-volume reduction surgery is potentially useful.