The SPEC score—A quantifiable CT scoring system for primary ciliary dyskinesia

Tarika Chowdhary, Jennifer Bracken, Lucy Morgan, Andre Schultz, Phil Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Structural lung changes seen on computed tomography (CT) scans in persons with primary ciliary dyskinesia (pwPCD) are currently described using cystic fibrosis (CF) derived scoring systems. Recent work has shown structural changes and frequencies that are unique to PCD, indicating the need for a unique PCD-derived scoring system. Methods: Chest CT scans from 30 pwPCD, were described for structural changes including bronchiectasis, bronchial wall thickening, mucous plugging, atelectasis, air trapping, and interlobar septal thickening and, additionally, changes previously described as being frequent in pwPCD including extensive tree-in-bud pattern of mucous plugging, bronchoceles or nodules, thickening of interlobar and interlobular septa and whole lobe atelectasis. Based on these findings a novel and unique scoring system, the Specific PCD Evaluation by CT (SPEC) score was constructed. Scans were then re-scored using the SPEC score and results compared to corresponding measurements of lung function to assess structure-function correlation. Results: Total SPEC scores ranged from 0 to 60 (max possible score 90). There was a strong negative correlation between the SPEC score (SPEC) and forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume over 1 s (FEV1) and FEV1/FVC ratio (−r =.784, −.865, −.872 respectively). Conclusions: Using PCD-derived data we describe the construct of a PCD-specific score for assessing lung structural damage on CT scans, the SPEC score. A strong correlation between the SPEC score and PFT variables was identified. The SPEC score holds the potential for describing longitudinal changes in CT scans and assessing the efficacy of interventive therapies in patients with PCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number1
Early online date16 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


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