High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is a noninvasive method for evaluating abnormalities of the pulmonary airways and parenchyma in a patient with asthma. Some changes are reversible, but changes associated with bronchial destruction are not.


Common findings in patients with asthma:

(1) thickening of the bronchial wall (around 100%)

(2) expiratory air trapping (87%)


Less common findings:

(1) decreased attenuation during inspiration

(2) narrowing of the bronchial lumen

(3) bronchiectasis and bronchiolectasis

(4) prominence of centrilobular structures

(5) ground glass opacities in the lung parenchyma

(6) emphysema

(7) mucoid impactions


Findings suggesting another diagnosis:

(1) mosaic pattern of attenuation (more commonly seen in bronchiolitis obliterans)


Additional findings may be found:

(1) in smokers

(2) if complications like pneumothorax or pneumonia develop.


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