Follow-up in pulmonary sarcoidosis: comparison between HRCT and pulmonary function tests

Radiol Med. 2012 Sep;117(6):968-78. doi: 10.1007/s11547-012-0827-5. Epub 2012 May 14.


Purpose: The authors assessed the clinical usefulness of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) for monitoring sarcoidosis by comparing changes on HRCT with those on pulmonary function test (PFT) results over time.

Materials and methods: The baseline and follow-up (after 13 months, range 15-63 months) HRCT scans of 14 consecutive patients with sarcoidosis were reviewed by a single observer. Each follow-up HRCT examination was assessed as stable, improved (when the extent of HRCT findings was reduced compared with baseline) and worsened (when the extent of HRCT findings was increased and/or when HRCT pattern had become fibrotic compared with baseline). Any increase or decrease in forced vital capacity (FVC)≥10% from baseline was considered significant. Changes on HRCT were then compared with those on FVC.

Results: During a median follow-up of 33 (range 15-63) months, HRCT findings worsened in 8/14 (58%) cases, improved in 3/14 (21%) and remained stable in 3/14 (21%). Agreement between changes on HRCT and FVC was moderate (κ=0.49). In 9/14 (64%) cases, HRCT changes were in line with those on FVC. In 4/5 discordant cases, the worsened HRCT findings were not mirrored by FVC changes.

Conclusions: Despite the small size of our study population, our results suggest that HRCT may provide clinicians with additional information about the evolution of sarcoidosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / physiopathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*