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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 419328, 6 pages
Research Article

Quantitative CT: Associations between Emphysema, Airway Wall Thickness and Body Composition in COPD

1Center of Expertise for Chronic Organ Failure (Ciro), 6085 NM Horn, The Netherlands
2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center+ (MUMC+), P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
3Department of Thoracic Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, 5021 Bergen, Norway
4Section of Thoracic Medicine, Institute of Medicine, University of Bergen, 5021 Bergen, Norway
5GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, 27709 NC, USA
6Department of Respiratory Medicine, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, 27709 Copenhagen, Denmark
7Department of Radiology, Vancouver General Hospital and the James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9

Received 29 August 2010; Revised 13 December 2010; Accepted 15 December 2010

Academic Editor: N Ambrosino

Copyright © 2011 Erica P. A. Rutten et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of the present study was to determine the association between CT phenotypes—emphysema by low attenuation area and bronchitis by airway wall thickness—and body composition parameters in a large cohort of subjects with and without COPD. In 452 COPD subjects and 459 subjects without COPD, CT scans were performed to determine emphysema (%LAA), airway wall thickness (AWT-Pi10), and lung mass. Muscle wasting based on FFMI was assessed by bioelectrical impedance. In both the men and women with COPD, FFMI was negatively associated with %LAA. FMI was positively associated with AWT-Pi10 in both subjects with and without COPD. Among the subjects with muscle wasting, the percentage emphysema was high, but the predictive value was moderate. In conclusion, the present study strengthens the hypothesis that the subgroup of COPD cases with muscle wasting have emphysema. Airway wall thickness is positively associated with fat mass index in both subjects with and without COPD.