Purpose: This study sought to evaluate the high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) features of acute rejection and to assess the diagnostic accuracy of HRCT for acute rejection considering distribution of lesions in patients with bilateral lung transplantation (BLT).
Materials and methods: Between March 2010 and June 2012, 48 transbronchial lung biopsies (TBLBs) and HRCT were performed simultaneously in 26 patients who underwent BLT. We evaluated the presence of ground glass opacity (GGO), consolidation, nodule, bronchial wall thickening, interlobular septal thickening, pleural effusion, atelectasis, bronchiectasis, and cardiomegaly on the HRCT images. The distribution of lesions was analyzed according to bilaterality or upper/lower predominance. Acute rejection was determined on the basis of the pathologic results of TBLB. We evaluated potential correlations of HRCT features with acute rejection, then assessed overall diagnostic accuracy of various HRCT features in combination to diagnose acute rejection in the transplanted lung.
Results: Among the 48 TBLBs, 8 were diagnosed as acute rejection (A1, 4 cases; A2, 2 cases; and A3, 2 cases) pathologically. Two A1 rejections and one A2 rejection appeared normal on computed tomography images. Without considering the distribution of lesions, interlobular septal thickening was significantly associated with acute rejection (P = .010) only. Regarding the distribution of lesions on HRCT images, not only interlobular septal thickening but also GGO was significantly associated with acute rejection (P < .05). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and overall accuracy of the HRCT scan in the evaluation of acute rejection were 50%, 97.5%, 80%, 90.1%, and 89.6%, when the bilateral GGO and interlobular septal thickening with lower predominance were considered as the positive finding.
Conclusions: HRCT findings considering lesion distribution could be a useful tool in diagnosing acute rejection in patients with BLT.
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