Non-specific interstitial pneumonia: findings on sequential CT scans of nine patients

M Akira, G Inoue, S Yamamoto, M Sakatani
Thorax 2000, 55 (10): 854-9

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to describe findings on sequential high resolution computed tomographic (CT) scans of nine patients with non-specific interstitial pneumonia.

METHODS: Thin section CT scans of nine patients with pathologically proven non-specific interstitial pneumonia were evaluated retrospectively. All patients underwent sequential CT scanning (mean follow up 3.1 years (range 1-8)).

RESULTS: The predominant finding on the initial CT scans in seven patients was patchy areas of ground glass opacity in both the central and peripheral lung, with (n = 5) or without (n = 2) irregular areas of consolidation. In another two patients areas of consolidation in both the central and peripheral lung were seen as the predominant abnormality. The initial parenchymal abnormalities had resolved completely in four patients with predominant ground glass opacity without bronchiolectasis. Some of the bronchiectasis and bronchiolectasis resolved. In two patients bronchiectasis and bronchiolectasis occurred at one year and two years of follow up, respectively. In two patients with predominant consolidation the consolidation decreased but persisted, and in one patient the consolidation evolved into honeycombing. In the other patient bronchiectasis progressed over the course of seven years, forming varicoid bronchiectasis.

CONCLUSION: Patients with non-specific interstitial pneumonia may recover completely after treatment with corticosteroids, but as many as half of these patients will have persistent pulmonary abnormalities on CT scans including bronchiectasis and honeycomb lung.

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