High-Resolution Computed Tomography in Healthy Smokers and Never-Smokers: A 6-Year Follow-up Study of Men Born in 1933

J. Vikgren, M. Boijsen, K. Andelid, A. Ekberg-Jansson, S. Larsson, B. Bake, Ulf Tylen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: To elucidate whether emphysematous lesions and other high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings considered associated with smoking are part of a progressive process, and to measure the extent to which similar changes are found in never-smokers. Material and Methods: Healthy smokers and never-smokers were recruited from a randomized epidemiological study and investigated with a 6-year interval. Emphysema, parenchymal and subpleural nodules, ground-glass opacities, bronchial alterations, and septal lines were evaluated in 66 subjects (40 smokers, 11 of whom had stopped smoking in the interval, and 26 never-smokers), Lung function was tested. Results: All except emphysematous lesions were present to some extent in never-smokers. Emphysema, parenchymal nodules, and septal lines occurred significantly more in current smokers, and a progression in extent of emphysema, ground-glass opacities, bronchial alterations and septal lines was seen. There was no significant change among those who stopped and never-smokers except for bronchial alterations, which progressed in never-smokers. Conclusion: In healthy, elderly never-smokers a low extent of various HRCT findings has to be considered normal. Emphysema, parenchymal nodules, and ground-glass opacities are indicative of smoking-induced disease. Further progress may cease if smoking is stopped.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchiolitis
  • Computed tomography
  • Emphysema
  • Lung function
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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