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Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2011 Apr;3(2):111-7. doi: 10.4168/aair.2011.3.2.111. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Airway Measurement for Airway Remodeling Defined by Post-Bronchodilator FEV1/FVC in Asthma: Investigation Using Inspiration-Expiration Computed Tomography.

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Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Airway remodeling may be responsible for irreversible airway obstruction in asthma, and a low post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio can be used as a noninvasive marker of airway remodeling. We investigated correlations between airway wall indices on computed tomography (CT) and various clinical indices, including post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio, in patients with asthma.


Volumetric CT was performed on 22 stable asthma patients who were taking inhaled corticosteroids. Airway dimensions were measured at four segmental bronchi using in-house software based on the full-width/half-maximum method. Parameters included luminal area, wall thickness (WT), wall thickness percentage (WT%), wall area percentage (WA%), bronchial-to-arterial diameter (BA) ratio on inspiration CT, airway collapsibility (AC), and air trapping index (ATI). Correlations were analyzed between CT parameters and clinical indices, including %FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FEF(25-75%), and post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio.


Post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC showed significant correlations with WT%, WT, BA ratio, AC, and ATI (r=-0.503, -0.576, 0.454, 0.475, and -0.610, respectively). WT showed negative correlations with FEV1/FVC and FEF(25-75%) (r=-0.431 and -0.581), and WT% was negatively correlated with %FEV1, FEV1/FVC, and FEF(25-75%) (r=-0.434, -0.431, and -0.540, respectively). WA% showed correlations with FEF(25-75%) and body mass index (r=-0.459 and 0.453). The BA ratio was positively correlated with %FEV1 (r=0.459) and FEF(25-75%) (r=0.479). AC showed strong positive correlation with FEV1/FVC (r=0.592), and ATI showed negative correlations with FEV1/FVC (r=-0.534) and FEF(25-75%) (r=-0.591).


WT%, WT, BA ratio, and AC on inspiration and expiration CT are good indices for measuring airway remodeling defined by post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC in stable asthma patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids.


Asthma; airway remodeling; postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio

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