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J Korean Soc Radiol. 2018 Jun;78(6):371-379. English. Original Article.
Han JY , Lee KN , Kang EJ , Baek JW .
Department of Radiology, Dongnam Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Busan, Korea.
Department of Radiology, Dong-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
Department of Radiology, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea.


The aim of this study was to accurately evaluate the significance and correlation between the clinical severity and the morphologic feature of respiratory muscles in patients with emphysema as noted using computed tomography (CT).

Materials and Methods

The cross sectional area (CSA) and attenuation of respiratory muscles in the patients with emphysema (n = 71) were subsequently retrospectively reviewed. The clinical severity for the patients was determined by the value of the actual forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity at the pulmonary function test (PFT). The correlation between the CT measurements with visual assessment of emphysema (VAE), and the PFT values were completed and recorded. The multiple linear regression analysis of each CT measurement on the VAE and PFT values was used to determine the most affective parameters among the recorded and identified CT measurements.


The CSA of the pectoralis major (p = 0.002) and subsequently the serratus anterior (p = 0.011) were found to be lower in patients with emphysema than as compared to those in the control group. The CSA and the attenuation of respiratory muscles remained significant for its relation for the VAE and PFT values. As noted, both the VAE and PFT values were mostly contributed by the CSA and attenuation of serratus anterior and attenuation of diaphragm crus among all respiratory muscles.


The CT measurement of the patient's respiratory muscles may reflect clinical and visual severity in the patients with emphysema.

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