Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: evaluation with CT

Radiology. 1989 Nov;173(2):441-5. doi: 10.1148/radiology.173.2.2798875.


Thirteen chest radiographs and computed tomographic (CT) scans obtained from 11 patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis were reviewed. The CT findings were correlated with open lung biopsy findings in seven patients. The two patients with acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis showed air-space opacification on CT scans. An open lung biopsy, done in one of these patients, demonstrated noncaseating granulomas and filling of the air spaces with macrophages. The nine patients with subacute hypersensitivity pneumonitis showed small, rounded opacities and patchy air-space opacification on CT scans. These findings reflected the histologic findings, which consisted of interstitial pneumonitis, cellular bronchiolitis, and small, noncaseating granulomas. The six patients with symptoms for 12 months or longer also showed irregular linear opacities on CT scans, corresponding to areas of fibrosis. CT scans were superior to radiographs in helping to assess the type and extent of abnormalities, and high-resolution CT scans were superior to conventional CT scans.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / pathology
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*