Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate pulmonary computed tomographic (CT) findings in human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) carriers, who were characterized by means of polyclonal integration of proviral DNA.
Materials and methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained, and informed consent was waived. Chest CT scans obtained between January 1996 and October 2004 in 320 (154 men, 166 women; age range, 31-86 years; mean, 64 years) patients with HTLV-1 were retrospectively evaluated by three chest radiologists. Parenchymal abnormalities (ground-glass opacity, consolidation, centrilobular nodules, thickening of bronchovascular bundles, interlobular septal thickening, and bronchiectasis) were evaluated, along with enlarged lymph nodes and pleural effusion. In 58 patients who underwent surgical biopsy or transbronchial biopsy, comparison of CT images with the actual specimens was performed by a pathologist and three chest radiologists.
Results: On CT scans, abnormal findings were seen in 98 (30.1%) patients and consisted of centrilobular nodules (n = 95), thickening of bronchovascular bundles (n = 55), ground-glass opacity (n = 51), bronchiectasis (n = 50), interlobular septal thickening (n = 28), and consolidation (n = 5). These abnormalities were predominantly seen in the peripheral lung parenchyma (n = 70). Pathologically, these findings corresponded to lymphocytic infiltration along respiratory bronchioles and bronchovascular bundles. Pleural effusion and enlarged lymph nodes were found in two and five patients, respectively.
Conclusion: CT findings in patients with HTLV-1 consisted mainly of centrilobular nodules, ground-glass opacity, and thickening of the bronchovascular bundles in the peripheral lung. These CT findings are considered suggestive of thoracic involvement in patients with HTLV-1.