Thoracic CT findings of adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Mar;182(3):761-7. doi: 10.2214/ajr.182.3.1820761.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess pulmonary CT findings in patients with adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed CT scans of the lung in 87 patients with adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma who had undergone chest CT between January 1996 and March 2002 at two institutions. The CT scans were interpreted by two chest radiologists working in consensus. Parenchymal abnormalities (ground-glass attenuation, consolidation, nodules, thickening of bronchovascular bundles, interlobular septal thickening, honeycombing, crazy-paving appearance, and bronchiectasis) were evaluated, as were enlarged lymph nodes, pleural effusion, and pleural thickening. In 46 patients who underwent surgical biopsy or autopsy, CT-pathologic correlation was performed with the actual specimens by a pathologist and two chest radiologists.

Results: On the CT scans, abnormal findings were seen in 60 patients (69.0%). CT findings consisted of ground-glass attenuation (n = 37), centrilobular nodules (n = 25), thickening of bronchovascular bundles (n = 22), and consolidation (n = 13). These abnormalities were predominantly seen in the peripheral lung parenchyma (n = 26). Pathologically, these findings corresponded with atypical lymphocyte infiltration along the interstitium and the alveolar spaces. Pleural effusion and enlarged lymph nodes were found in 22 and 27 patients, respectively.

Conclusion: CT findings in patients with adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma consisted mainly of ground-glass attenuation, centrilobular nodules, and thickening of the bronchovascular bundles in the peripheral lung. These findings, although nonspecific, are considered suggestive of thoracic involvement in patients with adult T-cell leukemia or lymphoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Leukemic Infiltration / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lymphoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*