Diagnosis of bronchiectasis and airway wall thickening in children with cystic fibrosis: Objective airway-artery quantification
AIMS To evaluate the diagnostic utility of virtual bronchoscopy, multiplanar reformatted images, and minimal-intensity projection in assessing airway stenoses. SETTINGS AND DESIGN It was a prospective study involving 150 patients with symptoms of major airway disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS Fifty-six patients were selected for analysis based on the detection of major airway lesions on fiber-optic bronchoscopy (FB) or routine axial images. Comparisons were made between axial images, virtual bronchoscopy (VB), minimal-intensity projection (minIP), and multiplanar reformatted (MPR) images using FB as the gold standard. Lesions were evaluated in terms of degree of airway narrowing, distance from carina, length of the narrowed segment and visualization of airway distal to the lesion. RESULTS MPR images had the highest degree of agreement with FB (Κ = 0.76) in the depiction of degree of narrowing. minIP had the least degree of agreement with FB (Κ = 0.51) in this regard. The distal visualization was best on MPR images (84.2%), followed by axial images (80.7%), whereas FB could visualize the lesions only in 45.4% of the cases. VB had the best agreement with FB in assessing the segment length (Κ = 0.62). Overall there were no statistically significant differences in the measurement of the distance from the carina in the axial, minIP, and MPR images. MPR images had the highest overall degree of confidence, namely, 70.17% (n = 40). CONCLUSION Three-dimensional reconstruction techniques were found to improve lesion evaluation compared with axial images alone. The technique of MPR images was the most useful for lesion evaluation and provided additional information useful for surgical and airway interventions in tracheobronchial stenosis. minIP was useful in the overall depiction of airway anatomy.