Differentiating Smoking-Related Interstitial Fibrosis (SRIF) from Usual Interstitial Pneumonia (UIP) with Emphysema Using CT Features Based on Pathologically Proven Cases

Kum Ju Chae, Gong Yong Jin, Hyun Nyeong Jung, Keun Sang Kwon, Hyemi Choi, Yong Chul Lee, Myoung Ja Chung, Ho Sung Park
PloS One 2016, 11 (9): e0162231

OBJECTIVE: To differentiate smoking-related interstitial fibrosis (SRIF) from usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) with emphysema on CT in combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema (CPFE) patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was approved by the institutional review board and informed consent was waived. We included 65 patients who underwent lung biopsy under the suspicion of UIP pattern on HRCT, and after radiologic-pathologic correlation, they were divided into three groups: UIP without emphysema (n = 30), UIP with emphysema (n = 26), and SRIF (n = 9). The quantitative extent of emphysema in the entire lung was visually assessed and fibrotic patterns were qualitatively analyzed based on six characteristics (asymmetry, juxta-subpleural sparing, emphysema beside the honeycombing area, absence of ground grass attenuation/reticulation in honeycombing area, inhomogeneous honeycombing, and absence of honeycombing in the upper lobes). Kaplan-Meier analysis was used for survival analysis, and logistic regression with a receiver operating characteristic curve was used to predict the possibility of SRIF.

RESULTS: In qualitative analysis of fibrotic patterns, SRIF tended to exhibit more than three of six fibrotic features, whereas UIP with emphysema demonstrated about two of these characteristics (p = 0.035). In addition, SRIF had a higher extent of emphysema than UIP with emphysema when they have same amount of fibrosis (p = 0.014). In patients with SRIF, 5-year survival rate was 85.7%, while it was 40.7% in UIP with emphysema patients (p = 0.035).

CONCLUSION: Fibrotic CT patterns and survival rate differed between SRIF and UIP with emphysema among CPFE patients, which explains the variable prognosis of CPFE.

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