Can acute interstitial pneumonia be differentiated from bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia by high-resolution CT?

N Mihara, T Johkoh, K Ichikado, O Honda, M Higashi, N Tomiyama, M Maeda, S Hamada, H Naito, H Nakamura, S Yoshida, M Akira, S Yamamoto
Radiation Medicine 2000, 18 (5): 299-304

PURPOSE: In the early stages, clinical and chest radiographic findings of acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP) are often similar to those of bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP). However, patients with AIP have a poor prognosis, while those with BOOP can achieve a complete recovery after corticosteroid therapy. The objective of this study was to identify differences in high-resolution CT (HRCT) findings between the two diseases.

METHODS: The study included 27 patients with AIP and 14 with BOOP who were histologically diagnosed [open-lung biopsy (n=7), autopsy (n=17), transbronchial lung biopsy (n=17)]. The frequency and distribution of various HRCT findings for each disease were retrospectively evaluated.

RESULTS: Traction bronchiectasis, interlobular septal thickening, and intralobular reticular opacities were significantly more prevalent in AIP (92.6%, 85.2%, and 59.3%, respectively) than in BOOP (42.9%, 35.7%, and 14.3%, respectively) (p<0.01). Parenchymal nodules and peripheral distribution were more prevalent in BOOP (28.6% and 57.1%, respectively) than in AIP (7.4% and 14.8%, respectively) (p<0.01). Areas with ground-glass attenuation, air-space consolidation, and architectural distortion were common in both AIP and BOOP.

CONCLUSION: For a differential diagnosis of AIP and BOOP, special attention should be given to the following HRCT findings: traction bronchiectasis, interlobular septal thickening, intralobular reticular opacities, parenchymal nodules, pleural effusion, and peripheral zone predominance.

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