Background: Bronchiectasis is an irreversible dilatation of the airways caused by inflammation and infection. To diagnose bronchiectasis in clinical care and to use bronchiectasis as outcome parameter in clinical trials, a radiological definition with exact cut-off values along with image analysis methods to assess its severity are needed. The aim of this study was to review diagnostic criteria and quantification methods for bronchiectasis. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed using Embase, Medline Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane and Google Scholar. English written, clinical studies that included bronchiectasis as outcome measure and used image quantification methods were selected. Criteria for bronchiectasis, quantification methods, patient demographics, and data on image acquisition were extracted. Results: We screened 4182 abstracts, selected 972 full texts, and included 122 studies. The most often used criterion for bronchiectasis was an inner airway-artery ratio ≥1.0 (42%), however no validation studies for this cut-off value were found. Importantly, studies showed that airway-artery ratios are influenced by age. To quantify bronchiectasis, 42 different scoring methods were described. Conclusion: Different diagnostic criteria for bronchiectasis are being used, but no validation studies were found to support these criteria. To use bronchiectasis as outcome in future studies, validated and age-specific cut-off values are needed.

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Respiratory Medicine

Meerburg, J.J. (Jennifer J.), Veerman, G.D.M, Aliberti, S, & Tiddens, H.A.W.M. (2020). Diagnosis and quantification of bronchiectasis using computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging: A systematic review: Diagnostic criteria for bronchiectasis. Respiratory Medicine (Vol. 170). doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2020.105954