CT scan COPD

CT scan COPD is more sensitive and specific than chest radiography to detect Emphysema.

The first imaging tool used for lung parenchyma remains that of the chest radiograph. It is the best in terms of the amount of information it can provide relative to its price and radiation dose, accessibility as well as ease of use. However, the chest radiograph is not without limitations.

Chest radiographs have been proven to have a sensitiveness of 80 percent and an 82 percent specificity for the detection of lung disease.

Chest radiography may confirm a diagnosis in just 33% of instances and the diagnoses that were confident proved to be correct in only 77 percent of cases.

This is why high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT, also known as scans of thin sections CT) is often utilized to clarify particular issues. Common characteristics in the parenchyma of the lungs, as well as of the small airways are associated with restrictive or obstructive pulmonary function tests.


What is COPD

Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is long-lasting inflammation of the lung that results in obstruction of airflow in the lung. The symptoms include breathing difficulties with cough, mucus (sputum) production, and wheezing. It’s usually caused by prolonged exposure to trigger gases, or particles of matter, mostly due to smoking cigarettes. People with COPD are at a higher chance of developing heart disease as well as lung cancer, as well as a range of other ailments.

Chronic bronchitis and Emphysema are the two most frequent conditions that cause COPD. Both conditions are usually seen together and can differ in severity between people with COPD.

Chronic bronchitis can cause inflammation of the linings of the bronchial tubes, that transport air into and out of the air sacs (alveoli) of the lung. It is characterized by a constant cough as well as it is characterized by mucus (sputum) creation.

Emphysema refers to a condition where the alveoli located at the ends of the tiniest airways (bronchioles) that connect the lungs become damaged because of damaging exposure to cigarette smoke as well as other irritating gases and particles.

While COPD is a progressive illness that becomes worse with duration, COPD is treatable. If properly managed, the majority of people suffering from COPD have a good chance of achieving control of symptoms and living quality, and also lower the chance of developing other ailments.

Signs and symptoms

COPD symptoms usually don’t show until lung damage has already occurred and the symptoms tend to worsen with time, particularly when smoking continues to be a factor.

Aspects or symptoms of COPD could include:

Patients with COPD are also more likely to suffer from exacerbations or episodes, in which their symptoms are more severe than the normal day-to-day variations and last for at most a couple of days.

The most significant reason for COPD in developed nations is smoking tobacco. In developing countries, COPD often occurs in people who breathe in fumes from burning cooking or heating homes that are not well ventilated.

Certain chronic smokers are the only ones to have clinically evident COPD However, those who smoke for long history may experience a decrease in lung function. Some smokers develop less common lung conditions. They could be mistakenly diagnosed as being suffering from COPD until a comprehensive evaluation is completed.


COPD is often mistakenly diagnosed. Many patients with COPD are not diagnosed until the condition is advanced.

Your doctor might order a variety of tests to determine the severity of your illness.

Tests can consist of:



In this section, we will discuss more CT scan to make a diagnosis of COPD.  We will discuss a high-resolution CT scan it has more sensitivity and specificity than a normal chest ct scan.

High-resolution CT scan

HRCT has a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity that is close to 100 percent, which can give more information than chest radiography or CT scanning. A reliable diagnosis is achievable in about one-half of the cases and is proved to be accurate 93 % of the time.

HRCT could be especially helpful in the following scenarios:

Expiratory scans are particularly beneficial when combined with the inspiratory scans may help in determining if there is air-trapping as a surrogate test for small airway abnormalities. The small airway abnormality can be assessed. 

But, CT scanning is not required for routine diagnostic of COPD. It is usually performed when an increase in symptoms indicates an underlying condition of COPD (eg pneumothorax, pneumonia, or giant bullae) or when an alternative diagnosis (eg thromboembolic disorder) is considered or the screening for lung cancer is suggested or when a patient is being evaluated for medical treatment of the lung using endobronchial valves or surgical reduction of lung volume or lung transplantation

Certain CT scan characteristics can help determine whether the emphysema has been classified as centriacinar (centrilobular) or panacinar or paraseptal. However, this is not required to manage the disease clinically.












Modern CT scanners that have higher resolution and advanced analytical techniques can detect airway sizes but the clinical value of these measures is unclear. Quantitative parameters based upon lung density, measured through CT scans, were developed to assess emphysema however, they are used mostly as tools for research.

The application for low-dose CT scans to detect lung cancer is described separately.



A lot of people suffering from COPD suffer from mild forms of the disease, for which very little treatment is required aside from quitting smoking. Even in the more advanced forms of the disease, it is possible to find a solution to manage symptoms, slow down progression as well as reduce the chance of exacerbations and complications, and help you live a full and active life.

Quitting smoking

The most important element of any treatment plan to treat COPD is to cease all smoking. Quitting smoking can prevent COPD from becoming worse, and also reduce the chance of breathing. It’s not easy to quit smoking. It can be especially daunting if you’ve tried to quit but have been unsuccessful.

Discuss with your physician regarding the nicotine replacement options and medicines that may assist, as well as the best way to manage to get over relapses. Your doctor may also suggest a support group for those who wish to stop smoking. Additionally, try to stay clear of secondhand smoke exposure as much as you can.


Many kinds of medication are utilized to treat the effects and complications of COPD. Some medications can be taken regularly and others when needed.


Some examples of short-acting bronchodilators are:

Examples of long-acting bronchodilators are:

Inhaled steroids

Combination inhalers

Some medicines combine bronchodilators and inhaled steroids. Examples of these inhalers are:

Combination inhalers which contain multiple types of bronchodilators are also available. Examples include:

Oral steroids

For those who have times when their COPD gets more severe, referred to as severe or moderate acute exacerbation. Short periods (for instance 5 days) of oral corticosteroids can stop further aggravation of COPD. However, prolonged use of these medicines can result in severe side effects, like weight increase and diabetes, osteoporosis cataracts, and an increased risk of developing infections.

Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors

A drug that is approved for those suffering from severe COPD and signs of chronic bronchitis is called roflumilast (Daliresp) is an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase-4. The drug reduces inflammation of the airways and also relaxes the airways. Common side effects are the loss of weight and diarrhea.


When treatment options have proven unsuccessful or cost is an issue Theophylline (Elixophyllin Theo-24 and Theochron) can be a lower-cost medication, that could assist in improving breathing and preventing instances of increasing COPD. The adverse effects can be attributed to dose and can include headache, nausea, as well as tremor, rapid heartbeats, and fast heartbeats Tests, are performed to determine the blood levels of the medication.


Respiratory illnesses, such as acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and influenza, can cause COPD symptoms. Antibiotics can help treat symptoms of worsening COPD However, they’re not usually advised to prevent. Certain studies have shown the use of certain antibiotics including azithromycin (Zithromax) is effective in preventing the onset of worsening COPD However, adverse reactions and resistance to antibiotics could limit their use.

Other therapies for the lungs

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