Background: Neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia of infancy (NEHI) is a rare lung disease associated with significant air trapping. Although chest CT is crucial in establishing a diagnosis, CT and biopsy findings do not reveal airway abnormalities to explain the air trapping. Objective: We compared lung and airway morphology obtained from chest CT scans in children with NEHI and control children. In the children with NEHI, we explored relationships between lung and airway shape and lung function. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective review of children with NEHI who underwent clinical chest CT. We identified control children of similar size and age. We created lung masks and airway skeletons using semi-automated software and compared them using statistical shape modeling methods. Then we calculated a logistic regression model using lung and airway shape to differentiate NEHI from controls, and we compared shape model parameters to lung function measurements. Results: Airway and lung shapes were statistically different between children with NEHI and controls. We noted a broad lung apex in the children with NEHI and a significantly increased apical anterior–posterior lung diameter. A logistic regression model including lung shape was 90% accurate in differentiating children with NEHI from controls. Correlation coefficients were significant between lung function values and lung and airway shape. Conclusion: Lung and airway shapes were different between children with NEHI and control children in this cohort. Children with NEHI had an increased anteroposterior diameter of their lungs that might be useful in the diagnostic criteria.
- Computed tomography
- Interstitial lung disease
- Neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia of infancy
- Shape modeling