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Quantitative computed tomography in systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease Castillo Saldana, Daniela


Rationale: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is frequently complicated by interstitial lung disease (ILD), which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in this population. Measuring disease extent and progression of SSc-ILD is challenging, with recent studies suggesting potential utility of quantitative measurements from computed tomography (CT) scans. Our objective was to determine the associations of CT density-based measurements with physiological parameters, visual CT scores, and survival in patients with SSc-ILD. Methods: Patients with SSc-ILD and volumetric high-resolution CT images with ≤1.25mm slice thickness were retrospectively identified. Cardiothoracic radiologists with >5 years’ experience produced visual CT scores of ground-glass, reticulation, and honeycombing, to the nearest 5%. Visual fibrosis scores were calculated as the sum of reticulation and honeycombing. CT density measurements included high attenuation areas (HAA), skewness, kurtosis, and mean lung attenuation (MLA), which were determined after excluding large airways and blood vessels. Associations of qCT measures with pulmonary physiology, visual CT scores, and mortality were analyzed using Spearman rank correlation and Cox regression. Results: 502 CT scans and 1084 PFTs from 170 patients with SSc-ILD were included. Baseline HAA, skewness, kurtosis, and MLA were associated with FVC (p

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