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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Pneumologica 2005 June;44(2):43-58

language: English

Differential diagnosis of chronic interstitial lung diseases based on the pattern and distribution of findings on high-resolution computed tomography

Müller N. L., Silva C. I. S.


High-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) consists of thin sections (0.5-2 mm collimation) optimized for assessment of small structures by reconstruction of the images with a high-definition, sharp (high-resolution) algorithm. HRCT is superior to the chest radiograph in the assessment of patients with suspected interstitial lung disease often allowing a confident specific diagnosis in patients with nonspecific radiographic findings. The authors illustrate the characteristic patterns of abnormality seen in the most common chronic interstitial lung diseases and propose a simple algorithm for the interpretation of findings based on the pattern and distribution of findings. The algorithm includes the 6 main patterns of abnormality seen on HRCT: septal lines, reticular pattern, cystic pattern, nodular pattern, ground-glass opacities and consolidation. The differential diagnosis is based on the identification of the main pattern of abnormality, its distribution in the lung, and the presence of associated findings such as lymphadenopathy, pleural thickening, and pleural effusion.

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