Case study – Radiology/Pathology


The phrase ‘emphysema’ is normally applied in a morphological logic, and therefore imaging modalities have a significant role in diagnosing this disease. Specifically, high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is a dependable element for explaining the pathology of emphysema, even in slight alterations within secondary pulmonary lobules. Usually, pulmonary emphysema is categorized into three kinds associated to the lobular anatomy: centrilobular emphysema, panlobular emphysema, and paraseptal emphysema.

I have with me here Jessica, a patient who presents with complications which I need to evaluate. In this paper, I discuss the radiological – pathological correlation in every kind of pulmonary emphysema. HRCT of early centrilobular emphysema indicates an evenly distributed centrilobular small areas of low attenuation with ill-defined borders. With magnification of the expanded airspace, the enveloping lung parenchyma is compressed, which makes it possible observation of a clear border involving the emphysematous area and the normal lung.

Because the disease grows from the centrilobular portion, normal lung parenchyma in the perilobular portion seems to be preserved, even in instances of far-developed pulmonary emphysema. In panlobular emphysema, HRCT shows either panlobular low attenuation or ill-defined diffuse low attenuation of the lung. Paraseptal emphysema is characterized by subpleural Ill-defined cystic spaces.

Recent articles related to imaging of pulmonary emphysema will also be covered in this paper, cush as morphometry of the airway in cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary emphysema, and bronchogenic carcinoma linked to bullous lung disease.

There are several forms of emphysema that should be considered as unique disease entities. No university recognized categorization system of these kinds exists, but relationships of autopsy outcomes in 1,823 cases over a 12-year period ascertain that the radiographic and pathologic characteristics of the emphysemas are easily understood if centrilobular, panlobular, paracicatricial, and restricted types of the disease are identified. Centrilobular emphysema linked to cigarette smoking is the most prevalent type.

Panlobular emphysema is linked to alpha 1-protease inhibitor deficiency in addition to pathologically producing uniform swelling of all air spaces, with a moderate basilar prevalence. Paracicatricial emphysema is seen next to regions of parenchymal marking. Restricted emphysema indicates focal swelling or destruction of air spaces with otherwise usual lung. A clear comprehension of the computed tomographic (CT) appearance of all kinds of emphysema is important for the right diagnosis of parenchymal lung anomaly.

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Imaging modalities

Radiologic examination, such as chest CT scanning as well as quantitative V/Q scanning for my patient is an important ingredient of preoperative examination for patients being considered for LVRS. The two modalities are included in the initial screening procedures which According to Cooper et al, (Cooper et al 1999), and majority of centers still use both in preoperative testing. Although the data that has been generated by these two imaging modalities is complementary, majority of health centers depend on one modality more than another; the modality used mostly depends on local skills and the available resources.

Whereas majority of the studies have focused on creating reliable procedure for applying either CT or radionuclide scintigraphic imaging to the recognition of patients having upper lobe ailment, not very many studies have put into comparison the two modalities for screening patients in the same emphysema group. Such a comparison would assist in establishing whether CT and V/Q scanning offer unique and complementary or mostly overlapping data and whether a single modality actually efficient in identifying patients for LVRS, significantly reducing the requirement for both studies. The present research directly puts into comparison the utility of CT and V/Q scanning similar to LVRS cohort, screens how computer algorithm–based quantitative puts into comparison with established visual scoring modalities, and evaluates the comparative application of each modality and scoring procedure in projecting successful outcomes of LVRS.

Comparison of visually evaluated CT and V/Q scores of disease distribution explained a considerable relationship between the two modalities (n = 39, r = 0.50, P < .001) that was the same as observations gotten from other investigators. Additionally, computer-based (quantitative) scores of disease distribution at CT related closely with visually assessed (qualitative) scores (n = 17, r = 0.89, P < .001).

Computer-derived and visually assessed levels of disease distribution on V/Q scans are at the same time closely linked (n = 39, r = 0.83, P < .001). These findings are crucial for two reasons. One, they indicate that particular redundancy does exist between the data gotten from CT and that gotten at V/Q, even though the two modalities really do not offer identical information. Two, in a an outcome that is maybe of higher clinical significance, the outcome indicates that evaluation of disease distribution and harshness by expert readers on the basis of CT and V/Q images are the same as assessments produced with computer-based algorithms.

Visually assessed disease distribution levels produced on the basis of CT information and those produced on the basis of V/Q data are almost similar with regard to forecasting improvement in FEV1 at six-month postoperative follow-up. Computer-based quantitative algorithms for both CT and V/Q scans usually have similar expected utility, even though the relationship between the change in FEV1 and quantitative CT scores do not usually achieve statistical importance since the latter are available for just a fraction of the research cohort. Even though just 16%–25% of the change in FEV1 maybe projected with preoperative radiologic levels, these indices are equivalent to those previously documented by other investigators.

These usually do not have relationships and confirm previous observations that indicated that although upper lobe–predominant illness is a significant determinant of physiologic responsiveness to LVRS, majority of the patients with other radiologic patterns of disease do well in response to surgery. Results also indicate that the lack of close relationship between CT and V/Q levels does not lead to one modality being clearly important to the other in regard to its utility in predicting LVRS outcome. Therefore, the differences in functional and physiologic data offered by these two modalities does not play a role in information that significantly have effects on their ability to forecast promising responses to LVRS.

My observations from the patient have interesting physiologic implications in regard to how LVRS really functions to improve lung activities. The appearance of upper lobe–predominant illness identified with any of these modalities approaches related not just with physiologic improvements in the lung, but in addition to a specific pattern of improvement. Particularly, FEV1, the most prevalent physiologic level of improvement I used to examine LVRS outcomes, is based on two unique elements:

First, the ratio of FEV1 to the FVC, which is a level of obstruction, and secondly the absolute FVC, which is the level of entire functional volume within the patient’s chest cavity. If radiologic level assists in predicting a favorable outcome to LVRS through a mechanism that entailed a reduction in resistance to airflow, these levels would be predicted to relate to changes in the FEV1/FVC ratio. On the other hand, if radiologic indices assisted me to identify in my patient’s function improved mostly through a rise in functional lung volume, the levels will relate to an increase in FVC.

Because the patient presented with Upper lobe disease prevalence measured by any modality will correlate significantly with a rise in FVC but not with increases in the FEV1/FVC ratio. These outcomes indicate that patients with upper lobe disease seem to experience improvement in their respiratory activity basically as a result of an increase in functional lung volume as shown in an increase in vital capacity. My observations are in agreement with the mechanistic observations proposed by Fessler and Permutt, which argue that surgical resizing of the hyper-inflated lung raises total lung capacity in relation to residual level and enhances maximal expiratory movement through increasing shrink back pressures, without altering obstruction to airflow.

The findings that I report here are mostly consistent with those of other practitioners, even though several crucial valiances are worth noting. Relationships between CT scan levels and improvement in FEV1 at six -month follow-up are not as significant in my examination of the patient as those observed by Slone et al. This obvious discrepancy could be as a result of the differences in patient selection, frequency of postoperative challenges, or other likely biases.

My evaluation of the patient are more consistent with the observations of Wang et al (Wang et al, 2004) who showed less escalated but still statistically considerable correlations between preoperative radiologic levels of disease distribution as well as postoperative development in lung function. Nonetheless, in contrast to my evaluation of the patient, the outcomes of Thurnheer et al (Thurnheer et al, 1999) indicated that only CT levels, not V/Q levels, related considerably with postoperative improvement in lung activities.

Nonetheless, the same correlation between preoperative imaging levels and alteration in FVC was noticed, supporting the position that upper lobe-predominant disease indicates a physiologic levels in which tissue resection enhances function by permitting “recruitment” of crucial capacity from remaining areas of lung through lung/chest wall “resizing.”

While examining my patient I recognized the short-comings of my evaluation, namely it was one patient and retrospective nature. Nonetheless, the information I collected confirm previous studies that patients with upper lobe–predominant disease on preoperative radiologic evaluations are more likely to respond to LVRS. Additionally, my results indicate that information gotten either with CT alone or with V/Q scintigraphy alone is enough for screening patients for LVRS, regardless of whether the two studies do not offer similar information. CT does produce additional information, nonetheless, such as the appearance of unsuspected malignancy, bronchiectasis, pleural ilness, or pulmonary fibrosis, which may significantly affect whether or not LVRS is done.

My results indicated that since visually assessed and computer-derived levels for emphysema at CT and V/Q scanning relate, there is no requirement to carry out the more expensive and time-demanding computer analysis. Additionally, my information indicates that after LVRS, lung activities in patients with upper lobe illness improves as a because of the removal of tissue that was dysfunctional and not playing a role to vital capacity. Resection of these parts raise the amount of functional tissue in the residual lung tissues in the chest, which is particularly reflected in a rise in vital capacity evaluated at spirometry.


Cooper JS, Guo MD, Herskovic A, et al. Chemoradiotherapy of Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer: Long-term Follow-up of a Prospective Randomized Trial (RTOG 85-01). JAMA. 1999;281(17):1623-1627. doi:10.1001/jama.281.17.1623.

Wang, Z. J., Reddy, G. P., Gotway, M. B., Higgins, C. B., Jablons, D. M., Ramaswamy, M., &Webb, W. R. (2004). Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Evaluation with CT, MR Imaging, and PET 1. Radiographics, 24(1), 105-119.

Thurnheer, R., Engel, H., Weder, W., Stammberger, U. Z., Laube, I., RUSSI, E. W., & Bloch, K. E. (1999). Role of lung perfusion scintigraphy in relation to chest computed tomography and pulmonary function in the evaluation of candidates for lung volume reduction surgery. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 159(1), 301-310.

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