Objectives: To determine if a quantitative imaging variable (vessel-related structures [VRS]) could identify subjects with a non-IPF diagnosis CT pattern who were highly likely to have UIP histologically.
Methods: Subjects with a multidisciplinary diagnosis of interstitial lung disease including surgical lung biopsy and chest CT within 1 year of each other were included in the study. Non-contrast CT scans were analyzed using the Computer-Aided Lung Informatics for Pathology Evaluation and Rating (CALIPER) program, which quantifies the amount of various abnormal CT patterns on chest CT. Quantitative data were analyzed relative to pathological diagnosis as well as the qualitative CT pattern.
Results: CALIPER-derived volumes of reticulation (p = 0.012), honeycombing (p = 0.017), and VRS (p < 0.001) were associated with a UIP pattern on pathology on univariate analysis but only VRS was associated with a UIP pathology on multivariable analysis (p = 0.013). Using a VRS cut-off of 173 cm3, the sensitivity and specificity for pathological UIP were similar to those for standard qualitative CT assessment (55.9% and 80.4% compared to 60.6% and 80.4%, respectively). VRS differentiated pathological UIP cases in those with a non-IPF diagnosis CT category (p < 0.001) but not in other qualitative CT patterns (typical UIP, probable UIP, and indeterminate for UIP). The rate of pathological UIP in those with VRS greater than 173 cm3 (84.2%) was nearly identical to those who had a qualitative CT pattern of probable UIP (88.9%).
Conclusions: VRS may be an adjunct to CT in predicting pathology in patients with interstitial lung disease.
Key points: • Volume of vessel-related structures (VRS) was associated with usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) on pathology. • This differentiation arose from those with CT scans with a non-IPF diagnosis imaging pattern. • Higher VRS has similar diagnostic ramifications for UIP as probable UIP, transitively suggesting in patients with high VRS, pathology may be obviated.
Keywords: Interstitial lung disease; Multidetector computed tomography; Usual interstitial pneumonia.
© 2021. European Society of Radiology.