Low-Dose CT–derived Bronchial Parameters in Individuals with Healthy Lungs

Ivan Dudurych, Gert Jan Pelgrim, Grigory Sidorenkov, Antonio Garcia-Uceda, Jens Petersen, Dirk Jan Slebos, Geertruida H. de Bock, Maarten van den Berge, Marleen de Bruijne, Rozemarijn Vliegenthart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)



CT-derived bronchial parameters have been linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma severity, but little is known about these parameters in healthy individuals.


To investigate the distribution of bronchial parameters at low-dose CT in individuals with healthy lungs from a Dutch general population. 

Materials and Methods: 

In this prospective study, low-dose chest CT performed between May 2017 and October 2022 were obtained from participants who had completed the second-round assessment of the prospective, longitudinal Imaging in Lifelines study. Participants were aged at least 45 years, and those with abnormal spirometry, self-reported respiratory disease, or signs of lung disease at CT were excluded. Airway lumens and walls were segmented automatically. The square root of the bronchial wall area of a hypothetical airway with an internal perimeter of 10 mm (Pi10), luminal area (LA), wall thickness (WT), and wall area percentage were calculated. Associations between sex, age, height, weight, smoking status, and bronchial parameters were assessed using univariable and multivariable analyses. 


The study sample was composed of 8869 participants with healthy lungs (mean age, 60.9 years ± 10.4 [SD]; 4841 [54.6%] female participants), including 3672 (41.4%) never-smokers and 1197 (13.5%) individuals who currently smoke. Bronchial parameters for male participants were higher than those for female participants (Pi10, slope [β] range = 3.49–3.66 mm; LA, β range = 25.40–29.76 mm2; WT, β range = 0.98–1.03 mm; all P < .001). Increasing age correlated with higher Pi10, LA, and WT (r2 range = 0.06–0.09, 0.02–0.01, and 0.02–0.07, respectively; all P < .001). Never-smoking individuals had the lowest Pi10 followed by formerly smoking and currently smoking individuals (3.62 mm ± 0.13, 3.68 mm ± 0.14, and 3.70 mm ± 0.14, respectively; all P < .001). In multivariable regression models, age, sex, height, weight, and smoking history explained up to 46% of the variation in bronchial parameters. 


In healthy individuals, bronchial parameters differed by sex, height, weight, and smoking history; male sex and increasing age were associated with wider lumens and thicker walls.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere232677
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2024

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© RSNA, 2024.


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