Cystic fibrosis: Predictors of accelerated decline and distribution of disease in 230 patients

Robert H. Cleveland, Ariane Staub Neish, David Zurakowski, David P. Nichols, Mary Ellen B. Wohl, Andrew A. Colin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to determine predictors of accelerated deterioration in radiographic manifestations of cystic fibrosis. The incidence and distribution of focally accentuated disease were also studied. MATERIALS AND METHODS. From 230 patients, 3038 chest radiographs were scored using the Brasfield system. Scores were plotted against age, and a single age-based severity curve was created. Specific observations (at least one episode in the first 5 years of life of air trapping, linear markings, nodular cystic lesions, or large lesions) were assessed to determine predictors of accelerated decline in scores compared with the aggregate scores plotted in the age-based severity curve. Specific observations were noted as present or absent and graded as to severity. A specific observation was counted as present if seen on at least one occasion. (The number of occasions on which the observation was made did not affect statistical analysis.) We also evaluated the distribution of lung disease by assessing the severity and nature of disease through specific lobar distribution. RESULTS. Males showed a slightly greater rate of radiologic decline. Early development of air trapping or bronchiectasis was associated with an accelerated rate of decline over time. Lobe-dominant disease occurred in one third of all images and in two thirds of the patients. It varied with age in its incidence, location, and etiology. CONCLUSION. Hyperinflation or bronchiectasis that occurs before age 5 is associated with accelerated radiographic deterioration. The incidence and location of lobe-dominant disease varied with age in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1315
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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