Lung Clearance Index (LCI) in Patients with Bronchiolitis Obliterans: A Preliminary Report and Comparison to Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Michal Gur, Karin Yaacoby-Bianu, Anat Ilivitzki, Ronen Bar-Yoseph, Vered Nir, Fahed Hakim, Yazeed Toukan, Lea Bentur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Bronchiolitis obliterans (BO) is a chronic airway disease following an insult to the lower respiratory tract. Lung clearance index (LCI) measures ventilation inhomogeneity and has been studied in cystic fibrosis (CF). We aimed to evaluate LCI in BO and to compare it to LCI in CF patients. Methods: LCI was measured in BO patients, compared to CF patients, and correlated with spirometry and CT findings. Results: Twenty BO patients and 26 CF patients (with similar mean age and BMI) underwent evaluation. FEV1 % and FEF25–75 % predicted were significantly lower in the BO group (60.5 ± 17.8 vs. 72.7 ± 20.7, p = 0.041, and 42.8 ± 22.8 vs. 66.4 ± 37.4, p = 0.017, respectively). In both groups, LCI was inversely correlated with FVC %, FEV1 %, and FEF25–75 % predicted. LCI % was slightly higher (190.4 ± 63.5 vs. 164.9 ± 39.4, p = 0.1) and FRC gas % (measured by multiple breath washout) was significantly higher in the BO group (92.5 ± 35.9 vs. 71.3 ± 18, p = 0.014). The strength of statistical association between the lower FEF25–75 % values and the higher LCI values was stronger in BO patients. Conclusions: Similar to CF, LCI may provide estimation of ventilation inhomogeneity in BO. The results indicate greater small airway involvement and air trapping in BO. Further prospective longitudinal studies evaluating the correlation of LCI measurements with multiple clinical and physiological parameters should be performed to assess the clinical benefit of LCI measurement in BO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1013
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


The authors acknowledge the statistical help of Mrs. R. Leiba from the Medical Statistics Unit, Rambam Health Care Campus. The study was partially funded by the Israeli Lung Association.

FundersFunder number
Israeli Lung Association


    • Bronchiolitis obliterans
    • Computed tomography
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Lung clearance index


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