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Chin Med J (Engl). 2005 May 5;118(9):742-6.

Using quantitative CT to predict postoperative pulmonary function in patients with lung cancer.

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Department of Radiology, Affiliated Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Sciences and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.



At present, the therapy for patients with lung cancer that achieves a high rate of cure is surgical resection at an early stage of the disease. The aim of this study is to evaluate quantitative computed tomography (QCT) for predicting postoperative pulmonary function in patients with lung cancer.


The data of thirty-one patients with lung cancer who underwent both pulmonary functional tests and QCT scan before operations were collected. A CT program was used to quantify the volume of whole lung parenchyma with attenuation of -910 HU to -600 HU, which was defined as total functional lung volume (TFLV). Similarly, the volume of lung (lobes or segments) with attenuation of -910 HU to -600 HU was defined as regional functional lung volume (RFLV). Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in first second (FEV1), FVC% and FEV1% (ratio to reference values of the matched population) were obtained from preoperational pulmonary functional tests. According to the formula: predicted FVC (pre-FVC) = preoperative FVC x [1-(RFLV/TFLV)]; predicted FEV1 (pre-FEV1) = preoperative FEV1 x [1-(RFLV/TFLV)], we obtained values of predicted FVC, predicted FEV1, predicted FVC% (pre-FVC/reference values of the matched population), and predicted FEV1% (pre-FEV1/reference values of the matched population). The paired t test and Pearson correlation test were used to assess significance of differences and correlations between CT predicted values and postoperative measured results of FVC, FEV1, FVC% and FEV1%.


QCT predicted values correlated well with postoperative FVC, FEV1, FVC% and FEV1% (r = 0.873, 0.809, 0.849 and 0.801 respectively, all P < 0.01).


QCT is an effective and accurate way to predict postoperative pulmonary function in patients undergoing pulmonary resection, regardless of the patients' preoperative pulmonary functional status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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