Background: The dawn of precision medicine and CFTR modulators require more detailed assessment of lung structure in cystic fibrosis (CF) clinical studies. Various imaging markers have emerged and are measurable, but clarity is needed to identify what markers should count for clinical studies. High-resolution chest computed tomography (CT) scoring has yielded sensitive markers for the study of CF disease progression. Once completed, CT scores from ongoing randomized controlled trials can be used to examine relationships between imaging endpoints and therapeutic effectiveness. Similarly, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is in development to generate structural as well as functional markers. Results: The aim of this review is to characterize the role of currently available CT and MRI markers in clinical studies, and to discuss study design, data processing and statistical challenges unique to these endpoints in CF studies. Suggestions to overcome these challenges in CF studies are included. Conclusions: To maximize the potential of CT and MRI markers in clinical studies and advance treatment of CF disease progression, efforts should be made to conduct longitudinal randomized controlled trials including these modalities, develop data repositories, promote standardization and conduct reproducible research.

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Journal of Cystic Fibrosis
Department of Biostatistics

Szczesniak, R., Turkovic, L., Andrinopoulou, E.-R., & Tiddens, H. (2017). Chest imaging in cystic fibrosis studies: What counts, and can be counted?. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis (Vol. 16, pp. 175–185). doi:10.1016/j.jcf.2016.12.008