Relationship between diffusion capacity and small airway abnormality in COPDGene

Rachel N. Criner, Charles R. Hatt, Craig J. Galbán, Ella A. Kazerooni, David A. Lynch, Meredith C. McCormack, Richard Casaburi, Neil R. MacIntyre, Barry J. Make, Fernando J. Martinez, Wassim W. Labaki, Jeffrey L. Curtis, Mei Lan K. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Impaired single breath carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO) is associated with emphysema. Small airways disease (SAD) may be a precursor lesion to emphysema, but the relationship between SAD and DLCO is undescribed. We hypothesized that in mild COPD, functional SAD (fSAD) defined by computed tomography (CT) and Parametric Response Mapping methodology would correlate with impaired DLCO. Using data from ever-smokers in the COPDGene cohort, we established that fSAD correlated significantly with lower DLCO among both non-obstructed and GOLD 1-2 subjects. The relationship between DLCO with CT-defined emphysema was present in all GOLD stages, but most prominent in severe disease. Trial registration: NCT00608764. Registry: COPDGene. Registered 06 February 2008, retrospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number269
JournalRespiratory research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2 2019


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diffusing capacity of the lung (DLCO)
  • Parametric response mapping (PRM)
  • Small airways disease (SAD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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