medwireNews: Quantitative computed tomography (CT) analysis has the potential to identify patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc)-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD) with a high 10-year mortality risk.
Presenting at the EULAR 2020 E-Congress, Alarico Ariani (AOU, Parma, Italy) said that “in clinical practice, ILD is usually assessed with chest CT or pulmonary function tests,” but qualitative analysis of these tests does not provide useful prognostic information.
The researchers developed a quantitative method to assess the extent of ILD on CT scans using open-source software, with the algorithm generating a score called kurtosis of the parenchymal lung (pKurt). They tested its ability to predict 10-year mortality risk in a cohort of 567 SSc patients.
Using cutoffs defined in a previous study, they found that patients with a pKurt score below 1.49 had a significant 2.48-fold higher risk for 10-year mortality than those with a higher score. The presenter said that the two groups separated by pKurt score did not differ in terms of age, sex, disease duration, and autoimmune profile.
Noting that the analytic method is “fast and easy to perform” and “operator independent,” Ariani concluded that quantitative CT “can become the new standard” in the assessment of SSc–ILD severity.
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