No clinical studies to date have compared the airway luminal area between supine and standing positions. Our aim was therefore to compare the airway luminal area between these two positions on computed tomography (CT) and to determine its correlation with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). Thirty-two asymptomatic volunteers underwent both conventional (supine position) and upright (standing position) CT during deep inspiration breath-holding. Pulmonary function tests were conducted on the same day. We measured the airway luminal area on CT in each position. Paired t-tests and Pearson's correlation coefficients were used for statistical analysis. The average luminal areas of the trachea, right and left main bronchi, and average third-generation airway were greater in the standing than the supine position by 3.4%, 6.1%, 5.5%, and 5.2%, respectively. The correlation coefficients between airway luminal areas and FEV1 tended to be higher in the standing than the supine position; this correlation was highest for the average third-generation airway (r = 0.70, P < 0.0001). The airway luminal areas of the trachea, bilateral main bronchi, and average third-generation airway were greater in the standing than the supine position. The average third-generation airway area in the standing position had the highest correlation with FEV1.
- forced expiratory volume
- multidetector computed tomography
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