Nonspecific interstitial pneumonia: variable appearance at high-resolution chest CT

Radiology. 2000 Dec;217(3):701-5. doi: 10.1148/radiology.217.3.r00nv31701.


Purpose: To describe the computed tomographic (CT) findings in patients with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) and to compare these with the CT findings of other chronic infiltrative lung diseases.

Materials and methods: Findings in 50 patients with biopsy-proved NSIP and a CT scan were reviewed by two thoracic radiologists in consensus. After the findings were described, the observers judged whether the findings were compatible with previously published descriptions of NSIP or whether the findings would support the diagnosis of a different chronic infiltrative lung disease.

Results: Eleven (22%) of the 50 patients had CT findings that were compatible with previous descriptions of NSIP. Sixteen (32%) patients had CT findings that were more compatible with usual interstitial pneumonia. The other 23 (46%) patients had findings that were nondiagnostic or most compatible with the diagnosis of another chronic infiltrative lung disease.

Conclusion: Contrary to previously published articles, there are a wide variety of CT findings in cases of NSIP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*