Short-term Automated Quantification of Radiologic Changes in the Characterization of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Versus Nonspecific Interstitial Pneumonia and Prediction of Long-term Survival
Fibrotic interstitial lung diseases presenting with nonspecific and overlapping radiologic findings may be difficult to diagnose without surgical biopsy. We hypothesized that baseline quantifiable radiologic features and their short-term interval change may be predictive of underlying histologic diagnosis as well as long-term survival in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) presenting without honeycombing versus nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP).Materials and Methods:
Forty biopsy-confirmed IPF and 20 biopsy-confirmed NSIP patients with available high-resolution chest computed tomography 4 to 24 months apart were studied. CALIPER software was used for the automated characterization and quantification of radiologic findings.Results:
IPF subjects were older (66 vs. 48; P<0.0001) with lower diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide and higher volumes of baseline reticulation (193 vs. 83 mL; P<0.0001). Over the interval period, compared with NSIP, IPF patients experienced greater functional decline (forced vital capacity, −6.3% vs. −1.7%; P=0.02) and radiologic progression, as noted by greater increase in reticulation volume (24 vs. 1.74 mL; P=0.048), and decrease in normal (−220 vs. −37.7 mL; P=0.045) and total lung volumes (−198 vs. 58.1 mL; P=0.03). Older age, male gender, higher reticulation volumes at baseline, and greater interval decrease in normal lung volumes were predictive of IPF. Both baseline and short-term changes in quantitative radiologic findings were predictive of mortality.Conclusions:
Baseline quantitative radiologic findings and assessment of short-term disease progression may help characterize underlying IPF versus NSIP in those with difficult to differentiate clinicoradiologic presentations. Our study supports the possible utility of assessing serial quantifiable high-resolution chest computed tomographic findings for disease differentiation in these 2 entities.