Organizing pneumonia: perilobular pattern at thin-section CT

Radiology. 2004 Sep;232(3):757-61. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2323031059. Epub 2004 Jun 30.


Purpose: To describe the appearance and frequency of a perilobular pattern at thin-section computed tomography (CT) in patients with organizing pneumonia.

Materials and methods: Thin-section CT scans of 21 consecutive patients with cryptogenic organizing pneumonia were retrospectively reviewed. Two thoracic radiologists in consensus recorded the presence and distribution of the CT abnormalities (consolidation, ground-glass opacification, nodules, bandlike opacities, interlobular septal thickening, and findings of fibrosis), with a particular focus on the presence and predominant location of the perilobular pattern, that is, a poorly defined arcadelike or polygonal appearance.

Results: The perilobular pattern was present in 12 (57%) of 21 patients, 10 of whom had five or more perilobular opacities. Other CT features were consolidation (20 patients, 95%), which was predominantly a subpleural and/or peribronchial distribution in 17 patients, and ground-glass opacification (18 patients, 86%). Bandlike opacities and interlobular septal thickening were observed in four patients and one patient, respectively. The perilobular pattern abutted the pleural surface in 10 of 12 patients and was surrounded by aerated lung parenchyma in 11 of 12 patients. There was no obvious relationship between perilobular opacities and CT findings indicative of established fibrosis.

Conclusion: A perilobular pattern was present in more than half of the patients, along with the expected thin-section CT features of organizing pneumonia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*