Objective: We assessed serial changes in high-resolution CT findings and pulmonary function in patients with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia with fibrosis.
Materials and methods: Serial high-resolution CT findings in 13 patients with biopsy-proven nonspecific interstitial pneumonia with fibrosis (mean follow-up period, 11 months) and pulmonary function tests (mean follow-up period, 11 months) were retrospectively analyzed. On CT, the presence and extent of ground-glass opacity, irregular linear opacity, honeycombing, and consolidation were assessed.
Results: On initial CT, all patients had areas of ground-glass opacity (mean +/- SD, 21.6% +/-14.4) and irregular linear opacity (5.0% +/- 5.2). The areas of ground-glass opacity decreased significantly on follow-up CT (13.5% +/- 10.5, p = .003). The areas of irregular linear opacity decreased slightly (4.2% +/- 5.2, p > .05). Initial forced vital capacity (69.4% +/- 16.0) improved significantly on follow-up examination (83.9% +/- 16.5) (p = .003). The decrease in the extent of ground-glass opacity on CT correlated significantly with changes in forced vital capacity (r = -.702, p = .007) and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (r = - .597, p = .031).
Conclusion: In patients with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia with fibrosis, areas of ground-glass opacity decrease on follow-up high-resolution CT, and the extent of decrease correlates significantly with that of functional improvement.