Classification of Centrilobular Emphysema Based on CT-Pathologic Correlations

Mamoru Takahashi 1, 2, Gen Yamada*, 1, Hiroyuki Koba 3, Hiroki Takahashi 1
1 Third Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, School of Medicine, South-1 West-16, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-8543, Japan
2 Department of Respirology, NTT East Corporation Sapporo Hospital, South-1 West-15, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-0061, Japan
3 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Teine Keijin-kai Hospital, Teine-ku, Maeda 1-12, Sapporo 006-0811, Japan

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 3795
Abstract HTML Views: 2372
PDF Downloads: 942
Total Views/Downloads: 7109
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1598
Abstract HTML Views: 1453
PDF Downloads: 600
Total Views/Downloads: 3651

Creative Commons License
© Takahashi et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Third Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, School of Medicine, Chuo-ku South 1 West 16, Sapporo, 060-8543, Japan; Tel: 81-11-611-2111; Fax: 81-11- 613-1543; E-mail:



Centrilobular emphysema (CLE) is recognized as low attenuation areas (LAA) with centrilobular distribution on high-resolution computed tomography. The LAA often exhibit a variety of shape or sharpness of border. This study was performed to elucidate the relationship between morphological features of LAA and pathological findings in CLE.

Materials and Methods:

The inflated-fixed lungs from 50 patients with CLE (42 males, 8 females; 14 operated, 36 autopsied) were examined by a method of CT-pathologic correlations that consisted of three steps. The first, CT images of the sliced lungs of the inflated-fixed lung specimens were examined on the shape and the peripheral border of each LAA. The second, the sliced lungs were radiographed in contact with high magnification. The third, the surface of the sliced lungs was observed by using stereomicroscopy. The views at low magnification of stereomicroscope were compared with the radiographs and the CT images of the same sample.


Using CT-pathologic correlations, LAAs of CLE were classified into three types as follows; round or oval shape with well-defined border (Type A), polygonal or irregular shape with ill-defined border and less than 5 mm in diameter (Type B), and irregular shape with ill-defined border and 5 mm or over in diameter (Type C). Type A, Type B and Type C LAA were mainly related to dilatation of bronchioles, destruction of proximal part of alveolar ducts, and destruction of distal part of alveolar ducts, respectively. Type A, Type B and Type C were dominant LAA in 5 (10%), 29 (58%) and 12 (24%) patients, respectively. However, remained 4 patients (8%) did not show dominant LAA type.


Morphological features of LAA in CLE may depend on dilatation or destruction of certain parts of the secondary lobule. Type B LAA was the commonest type in CLE.

Keywords: Low attenuation area, computed tomography, radiograph, stereomicroscopy..