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Radiology. 2015 Oct;277(1):192-205. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2015141579. Epub 2015 May 11.

CT-Definable Subtypes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Statement of the Fleischner Society.

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From the Departments of Radiology (D.A.L.) and Medicine (J.D.C.), National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson St, Denver, CO 80206; Department of Radiology, Columbia University, New York, NY (J.H.M.A.); Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada (J.C.H.); Department of Radiology, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France (P.A.G.); Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany (H.U.K.); Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass (A.A.B.); Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY (R.G.B.); Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Ariz (T.V.C.); Department of Chest Imaging, American Institute for Radiologic Pathology, Silver Spring, Md (J.R.G.); Department of Radiology, Hôpital Erasme, Brussels, Belgium (P.A.G.); Department of Radiology, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada (H.C.); Department of Radiology, Division of Physiological Imaging, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa (E.A.H., J.D.N.); Respiratory Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy (M.P.); and Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass (E.K.S.).


The purpose of this statement is to describe and define the phenotypic abnormalities that can be identified on visual and quantitative evaluation of computed tomographic (CT) images in subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with the goal of contributing to a personalized approach to the treatment of patients with COPD. Quantitative CT is useful for identifying and sequentially evaluating the extent of emphysematous lung destruction, changes in airway walls, and expiratory air trapping. However, visual assessment of CT scans remains important to describe patterns of altered lung structure in COPD. The classification system proposed and illustrated in this article provides a structured approach to visual and quantitative assessment of COPD. Emphysema is classified as centrilobular (subclassified as trace, mild, moderate, confluent, and advanced destructive emphysema), panlobular, and paraseptal (subclassified as mild or substantial). Additional important visual features include airway wall thickening, inflammatory small airways disease, tracheal abnormalities, interstitial lung abnormalities, pulmonary arterial enlargement, and bronchiectasis.

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