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Lobe-wise assessment of lung volume and density distribution in lung transplant patients and value for early detection of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome

: Dettmer, S.; Suhling, H.; Klingenberg, I.; Otten, O.; Kaireit, T.; Fuge, J.; Kuhnigk, J.M.; Gottlieb, J.; Haverich, A.; Welte, T.; Wacker, F.; Vogel-Claussen, J.; Shin, H.O.


European journal of radiology : EJR 106 (2018), pp.137-144
ISSN: 0720-048X
ISSN: 1872-7727
Journal Article
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Purpose: To evaluate quantitative computed tomography (CT) measurements of the lung parenchyma in lung transplant (LTx) patients for early detection of the bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). Materials and Methods: 359 CT scans of 122 lung transplant patients were evaluated. Measurements of lung volume and density were performed for the whole lung and separately for each lobe. For longitudinal analysis the difference between the baseline at 6 months after LTx and follow-up examinations was calculated. Patients with and without BOS (matched 1:2) were compared at two different time points, the last examination before the BOS onset and the first examination within one year after BOS onset. Results: 30 patients developed BOS during the follow-up period. Longitudinal changes in the lung volume and lung density measured on CT differed significantly between those patients with and without early BOS, in particular the difference of the inspiratory and expiratory lung volume (p < 0.001), the ratio of the expiratory and inspiratory lung volume (p < 0.001-p = 0.001) and MLD (p < 0.001-p = 0.001), the volume on expiration (p < 0.001-p = 0.007), the MLD on expiration (p < 0.001-p = 0.007), and the percentiles on expiration (p < 0.001-p = 0.002) with an increase of lung volume and a decrease of lung density. Changes were pronounced in the lower lobes. Before BOS onset, patients with and without future development of BOS showed no significant differences. Conclusion: Longitudinal changes of lung volume and lung density measured on CT start markedly at BOS onset with increased lung volume and decreased lung density indicating increased inflation levels. Even though this method may help to diagnose BOS at onset it is not useful as a predictor for BOS before disease onset.