Interstitial lung disease in association with polymyositis-dermatomyositis: long-term follow-up CT evaluation in seven patients

Radiology. 1999 Feb;210(2):333-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.210.2.r99ja15333.


Purpose: To determine the long-term follow-up computed tomographic (CT) findings of interstitial lung disease associated with polymyositis-dermatomyositis.

Materials and methods: CT scans in seven patients with interstitial lung disease and associated polymyositis-dermatomyositis were evaluated retrospectively. Six patients underwent sequential CT (follow-up range, 2-8 years; mean, 4.3 years). Histologic confirmation of pulmonary involvement was available in five patients.

Results: The predominant finding on the initial CT scans in four patients was subpleural consolidation, which corresponded to bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia with or without coexistent chronic eosinophilic pneumonia. In most cases, consolidation improved with use of corticosteroid and/or immunosuppressive therapy; in two patients, however, consolidation evolved into honeycombing. In one patient, diffuse areas of ground-glass opacity and consolidation appeared rapidly during illness; this patient died of sudden, rapid deterioration. In one patient with subpleural linear opacities, parenchymal abnormalities slowly progressed, and linear opacities had evolved into honeycombing at 8-year follow-up. In one patient with histologically proved organizing diffuse alveolar damage, bilateral patchy areas of ground-glass opacity and consolidation were seen. In one patient, subpleural bands changed to subpleural lines on sequential CT scans.

Conclusion: CT provides an excellent demonstration of the lung changes in patients with interstitial lung disease and associated polymyositis-dermatomyositis.

MeSH terms

  • Dermatomyositis / complications*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymyositis / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed