Background: No clinical studies to date have compared the inspiratory and expiratory airway lumen area between supine and standing positions. Thus, the aims of this study were twofold: (1) to compare inspiratory and expiratory airway lumen area (IAA and EAA, respectively) on computed tomography (CT) among supine and standing positions; and (2) to investigate if IAA and EAA are associated with lung function abnormality in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: Forty-eight patients with COPD underwent both low-dose conventional (supine position) and upright CT (standing position) during inspiration and expiration breath-holds and a pulmonary function test (PFT) on the same day. We measured the IAA and EAA in each position. Results: For the trachea to the third-generation bronchi, the IAA was significantly larger in the standing position than in the supine position (4.1–4.9% increase, all p < 0.05). The EAA of all bronchi was significantly larger in the standing position than in the supine position (9.7–62.5% increases, all p < 0.001). The correlation coefficients of IAA in the standing position and forced expiratory volume in 1 s were slightly higher than those in the supine position. The correlation coefficients of EAA or EAA/IAA in the standing position and residual volume, and the inspiratory capacity/total lung capacity ratio were higher than those in the supine position. Conclusions: Airway lumen areas were larger in the standing position than in the supine position. IAAs reflect airway obstruction, and EAAs reflect lung hyperinflation. Upright CT might reveal these abnormalities more precisely. Trial registration University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN 000026587), Registered 17 March 2017. URL: https://upload.umin.ac.jp/cgi-open-bin/ctr/ctr_view.cgi?recptno=R000030456.
ASJC Scopus subject areas