According to this article, "The study indicates that smokers, who suffer from slight emphysema, but have normal lung function, have a distinct blood flow pattern in their lungs as compared to non-smokers and smokers without
. This distinction may be used to identify smokers who are at a higher risk of emphysema, and prepare them for early intervention."
Of course this early testing isn't something we'll see regularly in the hospital, as usually we see patients with further progression of the disease. Although, as America stops smoking, this test may help reduce the number of RT patients in the future.