Computed Tomographic-Based Assessment of Airway Remodeling in COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous lung condition characterized by progressive loss of lung function with subsequent increasing breathlessness and worsening quality of life. The condition is due to an admixture of emphysema and airways remodeling. This unpredictable mixture of tissue pathology is indiscernible with conventional spirometric measures of lung function. Computed tomography (CT) is increasingly being used to characterize emphysema and airway disease in COPD. However, classic CT measures of the airways are limited for assessing airway remodeling. The applicant has developed novel CT metrics of airways that provide insight into both the mechanical properties of airways and their disappearance in advanced emphysema. In this career development proposal, the applicant hypothesizes that CT airway characteristics can independently predict clinical manifestations and disease progression in COPD.