Lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia: follow-up CT findings in 14 patients

J Thorac Imaging. 2000 Jul;15(3):162-7. doi: 10.1097/00005382-200007000-00002.


The aim of the present study was to assess the evolution of various computed tomographic (CT) findings of lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia (LIP) with determination of potentially reversible or irreversible features. The study included 14 patients with biopsy-proved LIP who had serial thin-section CT examination 4 to 82 months (median 13 months) apart. Initial and follow-up CT scans were evaluated independently and then directly compared with each other by two observers. The main parenchymal abnormalities on the initial CT scan consisted of ground-glass attenuation (n = 14), thickening of interlobular septa (n = 13), centrilobular nodules (n = 12), cystic airspaces (n = 10), and airspace consolidation (n = 4). On follow-up CT, nine patients improved, one showed no change, and four showed increased extent of disease. With the exception of cysts, the parenchymal opacities were reversible. On follow-up CT, new cysts were seen in three patients; these developed mainly in areas with centrilobular nodules on initial CT. Honeycombing was seen on follow-up CT in four patients; in three patients it developed in areas of airspace consolidation and in one patient it developed in an area with ground-glass attenuation on initial CT. The majority of patients with LIP improved on follow-up. However, airspace consolidation may progress to honeycombing and centrilobular nodules may precede cystic formation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*