Septal Lines in Pleural Inflammation: Multidetector Computed Tomography Findings in 30 Patients

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The aim of the study was to evaluate the interstitial changes adjacent to pleural inflammation on multidetector computed tomography.


The multidetector computed tomography scans of 30 patients with pleural inflammation were retrospectively and blindly evaluated by 2 observers. A control group of 7 patients with documented fibrothorax was also included. The number, appearance, thickness, and extent of septal lines were analyzed.


More than 10 septal lines immediately adjacent to the abnormal pleura were seen in 22 of the 30 patients with pleural inflammation and 2 of the 7 patients with fibrothorax (P < 0.01). Septal lines that are more than 1 mm thick were seen in 13 of the 30 patients with acute inflammation and none of the patients with fibrothorax (P < 0.01). Differences between focal and diffuse pleural inflammation included 10 cm or greater craniocaudal extent and more smooth septal lines with diffuse pleural inflammation.


Pleural inflammation is associated with increased number and thickening of septal lines in the immediately adjacent lung parenchyma.

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