Chest computed tomography in severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia: Comparing quantitative scoring methods

S Fontijn, S. J.A. Balink, M. Bonte, E. R. Andrinopoulou, L. Duijts, A. A. Kroon, P. Ciet, M. W. Pijnenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common complication of extreme preterm birth and structural lung abnormalities are frequently found in children with BPD. To quantify lung damage in BPD, three new Hounsfield units (HU) based chest-CT scoring methods were evaluated in terms of 1) intra- and inter-observer variability, 2) correlation with the validated Perth-Rotterdam-Annotated-Grid-Morphometric-Analysis (PRAGMA)-BPD score, and 3) correlation with clinical data. 


Chest CT scans of children with severe BPD were performed at a median of 7 months corrected age. Hyper- and hypo-attenuated regions were quantified using PRAGMA-BPD and three new HU based scoring methods (automated, semi-automated, and manual). Intra- and inter-observer variability was measured using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots. The correlation between the 4 scoring methods and clinical data was assessed using Spearman rank correlation. 


Thirty-five patients (median gestational age 26.1 weeks) were included. Intra- and inter-observer variability was excellent for hyper- and hypo-attenuation regions for the manual HU method and PRAGMA-BPD (ICCs range 0.80–0.97). ICC values for the semi-automated HU method were poorer, in particular for the inter-observer variability of hypo- (0.22–0.71) and hyper-attenuation (-0.06–0.89). The manual HU method was highly correlated with PRAGMA-BPD score for both hyper- (ρs0.92, p < 0.001) and hypo-attenuation (ρs0.79, p < 0.001), while automated and semi-automated HU methods showed poor correlation for hypo- (ρs < 0.22) and good correlation for hyper-attenuation (ρs0.72–0.74, p < 0.001). Several scores of hyperattenuation correlated with the use of inhaled bronchodilators in the first year of life; two hypoattenuation scores correlated with birth weight. 


PRAGMA-BPD and the manual HU method have the best reproducibility for quantification of CT abnormalities in BPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111168
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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