Role of computed tomography in quantitative assessment of emphysema

Agnieszka Choromańska, Katarzyna J. Macura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Pulmonary emphysema, together with chronic bronchitis is a part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide. There are many methods to diagnose emphysema. Unfortunately many of them, for example pulmonary function tests (PFTs), clinical signs and conventional radiology are able to detect emphysema usually in its late stages when a great portion of lung parenchyma has been already destroyed by the disease. Computed tomography (CT) allows for early detection of emphysema. CT also makes it possible to quantify the total amount of emphysema in the lungs which is important in order to precisely estimate the severity of the disease. Those abilities of CT are important in monitoring the course of the disease and in attempts to prevent its further progression. In this review we discuss currently available methods for imaging emphysema with emphasis on the quantitative assessment of emphysema. To date, quantitative methods have not been widely used clinically, however, the initial results of several research studies regarding this subject are very encouraging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalPolish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • COPD
  • Densitometry
  • Emphysema
  • HRCT
  • Quantitative assessment
  • Spiral CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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