John D. Newell Jr, MD
This article focuses on three main topics: (1) the importance of emphysema as a serious respiratory disease, (2) qualitative assessment of emphysema using CT, and (3) the emerging importance of quantitative CT in the evaluation of patients with emphysema for surgery and drug therapy. CT also can identify the major anatomic subtypes of emphysema. CT is critical in the assessment of patients with the potential for lung volume reduction surgery. CT may well be superior to pulmonary function tests in the longitudinal assessment of current and proposed drug therapies for the treatment of emphysema.