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PURPOSE: To directly compare magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and computed tomography (CT) parametric response map (PRM) measurements of gas trapping and emphysema in ex-smokers both with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants provided written informed consent to a protocol that was approved by a local research ethics board and Health Canada and was compliant with the HIPAA (Institutional Review Board Reg. #00000940). The prospectively planned study was performed from March 2014 to December 2014 and included 58 ex-smokers (mean age, 73 years ± 9) with (n = 32; mean age, 74 years ± 7) and without (n = 26; mean age, 70 years ± 11) COPD. MR imaging (at functional residual capacity plus 1 L), CT (at full inspiration and expiration), and spirometry or plethysmography were performed during a 2-hour visit to generate ventilation defect percent (VDP), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and PRM gas trapping and emphysema measurements. The relationships between pulmonary function and imaging measurements were determined with analysis of variance (ANOVA), Holm-Bonferroni corrected Pearson correlations, multivariate regression modeling, and the spatial overlap coefficient (SOC).

RESULTS: VDP, ADC, and PRM gas trapping and emphysema (ANOVA, P < .001) measurements were significantly different in healthy ex-smokers than they were in ex-smokers with COPD. In all ex-smokers, VDP was correlated with PRM gas trapping (r = 0.58, P < .001) and with PRM emphysema (r = 0.68, P < .001). VDP was also significantly correlated with PRM in ex-smokers with COPD (gas trapping: r = 0.47 and P = .03; emphysema: r = 0.62 and P < .001) but not in healthy ex-smokers. In a multivariate model that predicted PRM gas trapping, the forced expiratory volume in 1 second normalized to the forced vital capacity (standardized coefficients [βS] = -0.69, P = .001) and airway wall area percent (βS = -0.22, P = .02) were significant predictors. PRM emphysema was predicted by the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (βS = -0.29, P = .03) and VDP (βS = 0.41, P = .001). Helium 3 ADC values were significantly elevated in PRM gas-trapping regions (P < .001). The spatial relationship for ventilation defects was significantly greater with PRM gas trapping than with PRM emphysema in patients with mild (for gas trapping, SOC = 36% ± 28; for emphysema, SOC = 1% ± 2; P = .001) and moderate (for gas trapping, SOC = 34% ± 28; for emphysema, SOC = 7% ± 15; P = .006) COPD. For severe COPD, the spatial relationship for ventilation defects with PRM emphysema (SOC = 64% ± 30) was significantly greater than that for PRM gas trapping (SOC = 36% ± 18; P = .01).

CONCLUSION: In all ex-smokers, ADC values were significantly elevated in regions of PRM gas trapping, and VDP was quantitatively and spatially related to both PRM gas trapping and PRM emphysema. In patients with mild to moderate COPD, VDP was related to PRM gas trapping, whereas in patients with severe COPD, VDP correlated with both PRM gas trapping and PRM emphysema.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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