AIMS--To propose a computerised image analysis based method for measuring, on paper mounted lung sections, the area macroscopically occupied by emphysema. METHODS--The study was based on the assessment of 69 lung sections prepared following a modified Gough-Wentworth technique. The results obtained from image analysis, point counting, and panel grading methods were compared, as was the repeatability of image analysis and panel grading. RESULTS--The results from image analysis and from point counting were not significantly different (p = 0.609) and significant quadratic regressions (r = 0.96, p < 0.001) were found between measurements from image analysis and from panel grading, the computerised technique being shown to be the most reproducible. CONCLUSIONS--Image analysis is a valuable and reproducible method to measure the area of lung macroscopically involved by emphysema.
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