Respirology (Carlton, Vic.)
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Measurements of lung function, including spirometry and body plethesmography, are easy to perform and are the current clinical standard for assessing disease severity. However, these lung functional techniques do not adequately explain the observed variability in clinical manifestations of disease and offer little insight into the relationship of lung structure and function. Lung imaging and the image-based assessment of lung disease has matured to the extent that it is common for clinical, epidemiologic and genetic investigation to have a component dedicated to image analysis. There are several exciting imaging modalities currently being used for the non-invasive study of lung anatomy and function. In this review, we will focus on two of them; X-ray computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Following a brief introduction of each method, we detail some of the most recent work being done to characterize smoking-related lung disease and the clinical applications of such knowledge.
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