Asbestosis: high-resolution CT-pathologic correlation

Radiology. 1990 Aug;176(2):389-94. doi: 10.1148/radiology.176.2.2367652.


High-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) was performed in seven inflated and fixed postmortem lungs from seven asbestos-exposed patients with pathologically proved asbestosis. The parenchymal abnormalities seen at in vitro HRCT included thickened intralobular lines (n = 7), thickened interlobular lines (n = 7), pleural-based opacities (n = 7), parenchymal fibrous bands (n = 5), subpleural curvilinear shadows (n = 4), ground-glass appearance (n = 4), traction bronchiectasis (n = 4), and honeycombing (n = 2). The thickened intralobular lines were shown histologically to be due to peribronchiolar fibrosis. Thickened interlobular lines were due mainly to interlobular fibrotic thickening in four lungs and edema in three. The peribronchiolar fibrosis was most severe in the subpleural lung regions, creating curvilinear line shadows and pleural-based areas of opacity. Some subpleural fibrosis extended proximally along the bronchovascular sheath to create bandlike lesions. Areas of ground-glass appearance on HRCT scans were shown to be the result of mild alveolar wall and interlobular septal thickening due to fibrosis or edema. Postmortem HRCT findings were similar to premortem HRCT findings and correlated well with the pathologic findings of asbestosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asbestosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Asbestosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*