Pulmonary involvement in progressive systemic sclerosis: sequential evaluation with CT, pulmonary function tests, and bronchoalveolar lavage

Radiology. 1993 Aug;188(2):499-506. doi: 10.1148/radiology.188.2.8327704.


Computed tomographic (CT) findings obtained in 53 patients with progressive systemic sclerosis were correlated with functional parameters and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) results, and lung changes over time were assessed in 17 patients. CT findings were normal in 21 patients (group 1) with otherwise normal lung function, except for subclinical alveolitis in seven patients. CT depicted pleural and parenchymal abnormalities in 32 patients, grouped according to the absence (group 2) or presence (group 3) of honeycombing. In group 2 (n = 13), mean values of functional parameters were normal, and BAL showed a significant increase in neutrophils compared to group 1 (P < .05). Among patients in group 3 (n = 19) with limited extent of honeycombing (n = 12), the mean diffusing capacity value was lower in patients with a moderate ground-glass profusion score (n = 4) than in those with a mild score (n = 8) (68% +/- 4 [standard error of the mean] vs 80% +/- 3). CT is the method of choice for evaluating parenchymal destruction, and profusion and extent of ground-glass opacities can help in predicting the severity of lung damage in areas devoid of destructive changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed