JOURNAL ARTICLE

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: value of CT in identifying pulmonary sequelae

C Oppenheim, T Mamou-Mani, N Sayegh, J de Blic, P Scheinmann, D Lallemand
AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology 1994, 163 (1): 169-72
8010206

OBJECTIVE: Pulmonary dysfunction is common in children who survive bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Chest radiographs are not satisfactory for the identification of the sequelae of bronchopulmonary dysplasia because, although they often show abnormalities, the abnormalities are usually minor and sometimes absent. We therefore assessed the value of CT for identifying the sequelae of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-three children (mean age, 4 years) who had survived neonatal bronchopulmonary dysplasia and had signs of chronic pulmonary dysfunction (recurrent episodes of coughing, wheezing, dyspnea, pneumonia, respiratory insufficiency) were examined with chest radiographs and high-resolution CT scans of the chest. Two reviewers qualitatively analyzed the chest radiographic and CT findings by describing the most consistently found lesions and their frequencies.

RESULTS: The chest radiographs showed hyperexpansion in 17, hyperlucent areas in 11, and linear opacities in 10 of the 23 children. Pleural thickening was not observed, and four children had normal findings on chest radiographs. All 23 CT scans showed abnormalities, including multifocal areas of hyperaeration, well-defined linear opacities, and triangular subpleural opacities with an external base and an internal apex. In 20 of 23 children, all three abnormalities were present. For the three other children, two of these three abnormalities were found. No bronchiectasis was observed in any of the cases.

CONCLUSION: Lesions in survivors of bronchopulmonary dysplasia with chronic pulmonary dysfunction are visualized better on CT scans than on chest radiographs. Importantly, CT findings of multifocal areas of hyperaeration, numerous linear opacities facing triangular subpleural opacities visible on several consecutive sections, and no bronchiectasis should suggest the presence of sequelae of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

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