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      Overlaps and uncertainties of smoking-related idiopathic interstitial pneumonias

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          Smoking-related interstitial lung disease (ILD) consists of a heterogeneous group of disorders that are considered a distinct entity. The 2013 American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society recommendations classified respiratory bronchiolitis (RB)/RB-ILD and desquamative interstitial pneumonia (DIP) as smoking-related idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs). The overlapping histopathological and radiological patterns of smoking-related IIPs must be considered. Overlap patterns of smoking-related IIPs are not easily classified as a single disorder. The initial radiological manifestation and follow-up changes are heterogeneous, even when diagnosed pathologically as RB or DIP. Therefore, a clinical–radiological–pathological consensus is important in the diagnosis of smoking-related IIPs, and long-term evaluation is essential to monitor the morphological changes in these patients. In this article, we reviewed the clinical, radiological, and pathological findings, and also the changes in radiological manifestations of smoking-related IIPs over time.

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          Clinical diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

          The diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is difficult and often relies on histopathology. Our objective was to identify diagnostic criteria and to develop a clinical prediction rule for this disease. Consecutive patients presenting a condition for which HP was considered in the differential diagnosis underwent a program of simple standardized diagnostic procedures. High-resolution computed tomography scan and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) defined the presence or absence of HP. Patients underwent surgical lung biopsy when the computed tomography scan, BAL, and other diagnostic procedures failed to yield a diagnosis. A cohort of 400 patients (116 with HP, 284 control subjects) provided data for the rule derivation. Six significant predictors of HP were identified: (1) exposure to a known offending antigen, (2) positive precipitating antibodies to the offending antigen, (3) recurrent episodes of symptoms, (4) inspiratory crackles on physical examination, (5) symptoms occurring 4 to 8 hours after exposure, (6) and weight loss. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.93 (95% confidence interval: 0.90-0.95). The rule retained its accuracy when validated in a separate cohort of 261 patients. The diagnosis of HP can often be made or rejected with confidence, especially in areas of high or low prevalence, respectively, without BAL or biopsy.
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            Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias: diagnostic accuracy of thin-section CT in 129 patients.

            To determine whether idiopathic interstitial pneumonias can be differentiated on the basis of the pattern and distribution of abnormalities at thin-section computed tomography (CT). Thin-section CT scans in 129 patients with histologically proved idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (35 with usual interstitial pneumonia [UIP], 24 with bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia [BOOP], 23 with desquamative interstitial pneumonia [DIP], 20 with acute interstitial pneumonia [AIP], and 27 with nonspecific interstitial pneumonia and fibrosis [NIPF]) were independently assessed by two observers without knowledge of clinical or histologic data. The observers recorded the abnormalities, diagnosis, and degree of confidence in their diagnosis. Differential diagnosis was limited to the five types of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia. The two observers made a correct diagnosis, on average, in 74 (57%) cases. On average, the correct diagnosis was made in 25 (71%) cases of UIP, 19 (79%) of BOOP, 14.5 (63%) of DIP, 13 (65%) of AIP, and 2.5 (9%) of NIPF. The two observers made a correct diagnosis with a high degree of confidence in 50 (39%) readings. There was moderate agreement between the observers for the correct diagnosis (k = 0.55) and for the correct diagnosis with a high degree of confidence (k = 0.65). Except for NIPF, the various subtypes of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias often have a characteristic appearance that allows differentiation at thin-section CT.
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              Interstitial lung diseases in a lung cancer screening trial.

              We assessed the prevalence of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in a cohort of smokers included in a lung cancer screening trial. Two observers independently reviewed, for the presence of findings consistent with ILD, the computed tomography (CT) examinations of 692 heavy smokers recruited by the Multicentric Italian Lung Detection (MILD) trial. Four CT patterns were considered: usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP), other chronic interstitial pneumonia (OCIP), respiratory bronchiolitis (RB) and indeterminate. Subsequently, the evolution of ILD in those subjects who had undergone a repeat CT examination after 3 yrs was assessed. The UIP pattern and the OCIP pattern were identified in two (0.3%) out of 692 and 26 (3.8%) out of 692 patients, respectively; 109 (15.7%) out of 692 patients showed CT abnormalities consistent with RB, while an indeterminate CT pattern was reported in 21 out of 692 (3%) patients. Age, male sex and current smoking status were factors associated with the presence of OCIP and UIP (combined) pattern, although the relationship did not attain statistical significance. A progression of the disease was observed in three (25%) out of 12 subjects with OCIP who underwent repeat CT after 3 yrs. Thin-section CT features of ILD, probably representing smoking-related ILD, are not uncommon in a lung cancer screening population and should not be overlooked.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                01 November 2017
                : 12
                : 3221-3229
                [1 ]Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul
                [2 ]Department of Radiology, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ho Yun Lee, Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 81 Irwon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06351, Korea, Tel +82 2 3410 2502, Fax +82 2 3410 0049, Email hoyunlee96@
                © 2017 Bak and Lee. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.


                Respiratory medicine

                computed tomography, biopsy, diagnosis, smoking


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