What are the limitations of CT scanning for the diagnosis of emphysema?

Updated: Mar 13, 2019
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Miller et al [35] found that CT can cause underestimation of the extent of emphysema when lesions are less than 0.5 cm. However, in their study, the inflation pressures of the fixed lung specimens were not controlled, and a number of their patients had only thick-section (10 mm) studies. Using 1.5- and 10-mm collimation scans, Miller et al showed that the extent of centriacinar and panacinar emphysema was consistently underestimated with CT, because it missed most lesions less than 0.5 cm in diameter. They concluded that CT is insensitive in detecting the earliest lesions of emphysema.


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