We aimed to study the occurrence of emphysematous lesions in symptom free smoking men of about 60 years of age and in a matching group of never-smoking men and the relationship between pulmonary changes at high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and lung function tests. Our investigation included 57 smoking and 32 never-smoking healthy men from a randomized epidemiological study. HRCT was performed at full inspiration with a 1.5 mm slice thickness and a 3 cm inter-slice distance. Evaluation was made by two radiologists unaware of smoking history. Emphysematous lesions were scored visually. Pulmonary function tests were performed including spirometry and diffusion capacity test (D(L)CO). Emphysematous changes were demonstrated in 25 of 57 smokers but in only one never-smoker. D(L)CO/VA was the most sensitive test for early emphysematous lesions. It also correlated with radiographical scoring. Emphysematous lesions were evident in 44% of the healthy symptom free smokers. HRCT may reveal early emphysematous lesions in smokers before clinical symptoms have developed.
- Computed tomography
- Pulmonary emphysema
- Respiratory function test
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine