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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2016 Nov/Dec;40(6):948-952.

Arterial and Venous Pulmonary Vascular Morphology and Their Relationship to Findings in Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Smokers.

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From the *Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA; †Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, and ‡UAB Lung Health Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and §Birmingham VA Medical Center, Birmingham, AL; and ∥Department of Radiology Harvard School of Medicine Surgical Planning Laboratory, Boston, MA.



Prior work has described the relationship between pulmonary vascular pruning on computed tomography (CT) scans and metrics of right-sided heart dysfunction in smokers. In this analysis, we sought to look at pruning on a lobar level, as well as examine the effect of the arterial and venous circulation on this association.


Automated vessel segmentation applied to noncontrast CT scans from the COPDGene Study in 24 subjects with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging scans was used to create a blood volume distribution profile. These vessels were then manually tracked to their origin and characterized as artery or vein.


Assessment of pruning on a lobar level revealed associations between pruning and right ventricular function previously not observed on a global level. The right ventricular mass index, the right ventricular end-systolic volume index, and pulmonary arterial-to-aorta ratio were associated with both arterial and venous pruning, whereas right ventricular ejection fraction was associated with only arterial pruning.


Lobar assessment and segmentation of the parenchymal vasculature into arterial and venous components provide additional information about the relationship between loss of vasculature on CT scans and right ventricular dysfunction.

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