Radiographic manifestations of bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia vs usual interstitial pneumonia

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1986 Nov;147(5):899-906. doi: 10.2214/ajr.147.5.899.


The radiographic findings in 24 cases of bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia and 16 cases of usual interstitial pneumonia were reviewed and compared. Some cases of bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia have been mistaken for usual interstitial pneumonia, although the two diseases have distinct pathologic findings. Clinically, the diseases often have different manifestations. Bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia has a better prognosis and often responds well to steroids. This study shows that the radiologic findings of bronchiolitis obliterans include alveolar opacities without lung-volume loss. Patients with usual interstitial pneumonia, however, have bilateral diffuse interstitial opacities with occasional honeycomb changes, and there is loss of lung volume in most patients. These findings suggest that the chest radiograph can aid in distinguishing the two diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bronchitis / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Radiography