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Chest. 1988 Aug;94(2):286-9.

Hyperinflation in asthma and emphysema. Assessment by pulmonary function testing and computed tomography.

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Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada.


To assess the role of emphysema on the hyperinflation in chronic asthma, we studied 20 subjects with irreversible airflow limitation. Ten of the subjects had asthma and had never smoked; the other ten were cigarette smokers. Pulmonary function testing and chest computed tomography (CT) scans were performed on all subjects. Emphysema was graded using a score based on the percentage of lung involved on CT scan. There was good inter- and intra-observer agreement for the emphysema scores. The median emphysema score was 0 percent in the nonsmoking group and 10 percent in the smoking group. All smokers with a total lung capacity (TLC) of greater than 120 percent predicted had evidence of emphysema on the CT scan. None of the asthmatic subjects with a TLC greater than 120 percent predicted had emphysema identifiable on CT scan. We conclude that chronic asthma with severe hyperinflation does not result in emphysema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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