Imaging of Cardiopulmonary Involvement in Systemic Immune-mediated Diseases: A Comprehensive Review

J Thorac Imaging. 2021 May 1;36(3):W35-W51. doi: 10.1097/RTI.0000000000000496.


Systemic immune-mediated diseases (SID) are a large group of disorders characterized by complex inflammatory and autoimmune damage to various organs and tissues. Among the possible manifestations, SIDs may potentially involve each structure of the cardiopulmonary system. Each disease is characterized by a specific clinical presentation. Coronary artery disease, myocarditis, pericarditis, valvular disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and interstitial lung disease represent characteristic findings of cardiopulmonary involvement in these disorders and their prompt recognition is crucial for the diagnosis of SIDs and the patient's prognosis. In this setting, chest high-resolution computed tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance are the most important noninvasive techniques for the assessment of these diseases and their complications. The knowledge of various cardiac and pulmonary radiologic patterns increases the likelihood of diagnosing these disorders and can lead to improved understanding of the underlying pathophysiology to personalize the treatment for each patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart*
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed