Emphysema on CT Linked to Increased Risk for Lung Cancer

Pooled odds ratios for lung cancer increased with emphysema severity, and were higher for visual versus quantitative assessments on chest CT
x-rays CT scans lung computed tomography
x-rays CT scans lung computed tomography

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TUESDAY, May 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Visually and quantitatively assessed emphysema on computed tomography (CT) is associated with increased risk for lung cancer, according to a review published online May 3 in Radiology.

Xiaofei Yang, M.D., from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between CT-defined emphysema and lung cancer using data from 21 studies, including 107,082 patients, with 26 subsets.

The researchers found that given the presence of emphysema, the overall pooled odds ratios for lung cancer were 2.3 (19 subsets) and 1.02 (six subsets) per 1 percent increase in low attenuation area. For the dichotomous assessment, results were comparable for studies with visual and quantitative assessments (pooled odds ratios, 2.3 [12 subsets] and 2.2 [eight subsets]). The pooled odds ratios for lung cancer increased with severity of emphysema based on six studies with 1,716 patients and were higher for visual than for quantitative assessments (2.5, 3.7, and 4.5 versus 1.9, 2.2, and 2.5 for trace, mild, and moderate-to-severe, respectively) based on point estimates. Among subtypes, only centrilobular emphysema was associated with lung cancer compared with no emphysema (pooled odds ratio, 2.2).

"It is too early to conclude whether the presence of CT-defined emphysema leads to incremental and independent prognostic value over that of already known shared risk factors of emphysema and lung cancer," a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

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