Purpose: The purpose of this work was to compare the thin-section CT findings of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with those of acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP).
Method: The thin-section CT scans from 25 patients with ARDS and 25 with AIP were independently assessed by two observers without knowledge of clinical and pathologic data. The presence, extent, and distribution of various CT findings were independently analyzed.
Results: Honeycombing was seen more frequently in lobes of patients with AIP (26%) than in lobes with ARDS (8%) (p < 0.001). Compared with patients with ARDS, a greater number of patients with AIP had a predominantly lower lung zone distribution (p < 0.05) and a symmetric distribution (p < 0.05) of the parenchymal abnormalities.
Conclusion: Patients with AIP have a greater prevalence of honeycombing and are more likely to have a symmetric bilateral distribution and a lower lung zone predominance than patients with ARDS. However, significant overlap exists among the CT findings.