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Automated Coronary Artery Calcium and Quantitative Emphysema in Lung Cancer Screening: Association With Mortality, Lung Cancer Incidence, and Airflow Obstruction.

PURPOSE: To assess automated coronary artery calcium (CAC) and quantitative emphysema (percentage of low attenuation areas [%LAA]) for predicting mortality and lung cancer (LC) incidence in LC screening. To explore correlations between %LAA, CAC, and forced expiratory value in 1 second (FEV1) and the discriminative ability of %LAA for airflow obstruction.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Baseline low-dose computed tomography scans of the BioMILD trial were analyzed using an artificial intelligence software. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to estimate the predictive value of %LAA and CAC. Harrell C-statistic and time-dependent area under the curve (AUC) were reported for 3 nested models (Modelsurvey: age, sex, pack-years; Modelsurvey-LDCT: Modelsurvey plus %LAA plus CAC; Modelfinal: Modelsurvey-LDCT plus selected confounders). The correlations between %LAA, CAC, and FEV1 and the discriminative ability of %LAA for airflow obstruction were tested using the Pearson correlation coefficient and AUC-receiver operating characteristic curve, respectively.

RESULTS: A total of 4098 volunteers were enrolled. %LAA and CAC independently predicted 6-year all-cause (Modelfinal hazard ratio [HR], 1.14 per %LAA interquartile range [IQR] increase [95% CI, 1.05-1.23], 2.13 for CAC ≥400 [95% CI, 1.36-3.28]), noncancer (Modelfinal HR, 1.25 per %LAA IQR increase [95% CI, 1.11-1.37], 3.22 for CAC ≥400 [95%CI, 1.62-6.39]), and cardiovascular (Modelfinal HR, 1.25 per %LAA IQR increase [95% CI, 1.00-1.46], 4.66 for CAC ≥400, [95% CI, 1.80-12.58]) mortality, with an increase in concordance probability in Modelsurvey-LDCT compared with Modelsurvey (P<0.05). No significant association with LC incidence was found after adjustments. Both biomarkers negatively correlated with FEV1 (P<0.01). %LAA identified airflow obstruction with a moderate discriminative ability (AUC, 0.738).

CONCLUSIONS: Automated CAC and %LAA added prognostic information to age, sex, and pack-years for predicting mortality but not LC incidence in an LC screening setting. Both biomarkers negatively correlated with FEV1, with %LAA enabling the identification of airflow obstruction with moderate discriminative ability.

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