High-resolution computed tomography patterns of diffuse interstitial lung disease with clinical and pathological correlation

J Bras Pneumol. 2008 Sep;34(9):715-44. doi: 10.1590/s1806-37132008000900013.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


High-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is the radiological imaging technique best suited to revealing changes in lung structure. Various HRCT findings, taken together, can represent typical patterns. These patterns, in conjunction with the anatomical distribution of findings and with clinical data, can narrow the differential diagnosis of diffuse interstitial lung disease and, in many cases, indicate the correct diagnosis with a high degree of accuracy. The most common HRCT patterns seen in cases of diffuse interstitial lung diseases are the nodular pattern, linear/reticular opacities, cystic lesions, ground-glass opacities and consolidations. This article reviews the correlations between HRCT patterns and pathologic findings, summarizing the most common causes, as well as detailing the methods of investigation employed in order to diagnose the most common types of chronic diffuse lung disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*