Objective: To determine the outcome of areas of ground-glass attenuation and assess disease progression on serial high-resolution CT (HRCT) scans of patients with biopsy specimen-proved usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) and desquamative interstitial pneumonia (DIP).
Materials and methods: Twelve patients with biopsy specimen-proved UIP and 11 patients with biopsy specimen-proved DIP who had initial and follow-up HRCT scans (median interval, 10 months) were reviewed. Eleven patients with UIP and 11 with DIP received treatment between the initial and follow-up CT scans. The scans were evaluated for the presence and extent of ground-glass attenuation, irregular linear opacities and honeycombing, and overall extent of parenchymal involvement.
Results: On initial CT scans, all 12 patients with UIP had areas of ground-glass attenuation (mean +/- SD extent, 30 +/- 16%) and irregular lines (mean +/- SD extent, 17 +/- 7%) and 10 patients had honeycombing (mean +/- SD extent, 10 +/- 6%). All 11 patients with DIP had areas of ground-glass attenuation on initial HRCT scans (mean +/- SD extent, 51 +/- 26%), 5 patients had irregular linear opacities (mean +/- SD extent, 5 +/- 5%), and 1 patient had honeycombing. Nine of the 12 patients with UIP showed increase in the extent of ground-glass attenuation (n = 6) or progression to irregular lines (n = 2) or honeycombing (n = 4) on follow-up as compared with only 2 patients with DIP who showed progression to irregular lines (n = 1) or honeycombing (n = 1) (p < 0.01 chi 2 test).
Conclusion: In patients with UIP, areas of ground-glass attenuation usually increase in extent or progress to fibrosis despite treatment. Areas of ground-glass attenuation in most patients with DIP remain stable or improve with treatment.