What are the advantages of high-resolution CT (HRCT) scanning for the diagnosis of bronchiectasis?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Ethan E Emmons, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

CT scanning (see the image below), particularly high-resolution CT (HRCT) scanning of the chest, has replaced bronchography as the defining modality of bronchiectasis. CT sensitivity and specificity reportedly are 84-97% and 82-99%, respectively, but may be higher at referral centers. [84]

Additional advantages of HRCT scanning include noninvasiveness, avoidance of possible allergic reactions to contrast media, and information regarding other pulmonary processes. The 3 forms of bronchiectasis in the Reid classification can be visualized by HRCT. [1]

This CT scan depicts areas of both cystic bronchie This CT scan depicts areas of both cystic bronchiectasis and varicose bronchiectasis.

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