CT scans of the chest in carriers of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1: presence of interstitial pneumonia

Acad Radiol. 2012 Aug;19(8):952-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2012.03.020. Epub 2012 May 10.


Rationale and objectives: To evaluate pulmonary findings on computed tomography (CT) scans in carriers of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1).

Materials and methods: This retrospective study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at each institution, and informed consent was waived. Patients who were diagnosed with adult T-cell lymphoma/leukemia or collagen vascular disease were excluded from the study. Chest CT of 106 HTLV-1 carriers (54 females and 52 males; age range 44-94 years) were initially evaluated by two chest radiologists. Assessed CT findings included centrilobular nodules, thickening of bronchovascular bundles, ground-glass opacity, bronchiectasis, interlobular septal thickening, consolidation, honeycombing, crazy-paving appearance, enlarged lymph nodes, pleural effusion, and pericardial effusion. Three chest radiologists secondarily evaluated the CT scans with the abnormal findings to judge the presence of interstitial pneumonia patterns or a bronchiolitis/bronchitis pattern.

Results: Abnormal CT findings were found in 65 (61.3%) patients, including ground-glass opacity (n = 33), bronchiectasis (n = 28), centrilobular nodules (n = 25), and interlobular septal thickening (n = 19). Honeycombing (n = 5) and crazy-paving appearance (n = 3) were also observed. Based on the CT findings, 10 subjects were diagnosed with interstitial pneumonia (usual interstitial pneumonia pattern, n = 3; nonspecific interstitial pneumonia pattern, n = 5; organizing pneumonia pattern, n = 2; respectively). Twenty subjects were diagnosed with the bronchitis/bronchiolitis pattern.

Conclusion: Although the bronchiolitis/bronchitis pattern is predominant on chest CT in HTLV-1 carriers, the HTLV-1 infection is associated with various interstitial pneumonias.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / genetics*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*