Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia: CT features in 14 patients

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1990 May;154(5):983-7. doi: 10.2214/ajr.154.5.2108572.


Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia is a disease characterized by the presence of granulation tissue within small airways and the presence of areas of organizing pneumonia. We retrospectively reviewed the chest radiographs, CT scans, and biopsy specimens in 14 consecutive patients with proved bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia. Six patients were immunocompromised because of leukemia or bone-marrow transplantation. In all patients, 10-mm collimation CT scans were available. In 11 of the 14 patients, select 1.5-mm scans were obtained. The CT findings included patchy unilateral (n = 1) or bilateral air-space consolidation (n = 9), small nodular opacities (n = 7), irregular linear opacities (n = 2), bronchial wall thickening and dilatation (n = 6), and small pleural effusions (n = 4). All patients had areas of air-space consolidation, small nodules, or both. A predominantly subpleural distribution of the air-space consolidation was apparent on the radiographs of two patients and on CT scans of six. Pathologically, the nodules and the consolidation represented different degrees of inflammation in bronchioles, alveolar ducts, and alveoli. Although most of the findings were apparent on the radiographs, the CT scans depicted the anatomic distribution and extent of bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia more accurately than did the plain chest radiographs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / complications
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*