Researchers of a study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine sought to determine if it is necessary to analyze CT pulmonary vascular parameters as well as disease severity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to provide evidence to support disease management.

In this study, researchers assessed 128 patients with COPD with acute symptoms who were admitted from January 2019 to March 2020. They focused on assessing characteristics and ratio of the cross-sectional area (CSA) of small lung vessels to the total area of the lung, as well as the  ratio of pulmonary artery and aorta (PA/A) cross-sectional diameter in patients with COPD.

Following analysis, the researchers observed marked differences in COPD duration, smoking history, the partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2), pH, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and FEV1/FVC among patients with COPD with disease severity of P<0.05. They noted the duration of COPD, smoking, PaO2, PaCO2, CSA, and PA/A were all associated with the COPD severity. Both CSA and PA/A were correlated with post-bronchodilator FEV1 (P<0.05 for all). Overall, the results showed the cutoff value of CSA and PA/A for the diagnosis of severe COPD was 0.61 and 0.87 respectively, while the area under the curve of CSA and PA/A for severe COPD was 0.724 and 0.782, respectively.

“Patients with CSA ≤0.61 and PA/A ≥0.87 may have higher risks for severe COPD, and more studies are needed in the future to further elucidate the management of COPD,” the researchers concluded.

Keywords: COPD, CT, diagnosis, parameter, vascular