Use of computed tomography and automated software for quantitative analysis of the vasculature of patients with pulmonary hypertension

Abstract Objective: To perform a quantitative analysis of the lung parenchyma and pulmonary vasculature of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) on computed tomography angiography (CTA) images, using automated software. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the CTA findings and clinical records of 45 patients with PH (17 males and 28 females), in comparison with a control group of 20 healthy individuals (7 males and 13 females); the mean age differed significantly between the two groups (53 ± 14.7 vs. 35 ± 9.6 years; p = 0.0001). Results: The automated analysis showed that, in comparison with the controls, the patients with PH showed lower 10th percentile values for lung density, higher vascular volumes in the right upper lung lobe, and higher vascular volume ratios between the upper and lower lobes. In our quantitative analysis, we found no differences among the various PH subgroups. We inferred that a difference in the 10th percentile values indicates areas of hypovolemia in patients with PH and that a difference in pulmonary vascular volumes indicates redistribution of the pulmonary vasculature and an increase in pulmonary vasculature resistance. Conclusion: Automated analysis of pulmonary vessels on CTA images revealed alterations and could represent an objective diagnostic tool for the evaluation of patients with PH.