Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis: high-resolution CT and radiographic features in 16 patients.
To evaluate the manifestations of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis at radiography and high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), findings in 16 patients with this disease were reviewed. To ensure objectivity, 50 patients with other chronic infiltrative lung diseases (fibrosing alveolitis [n = 29], sarcoidosis [n = 16], and miscellaneous conditions [n = 5]) were included. All patients had chronic disease with evidence of fibrosis at HRCT, as indicated by irregular linear areas and architectural distortion. Radiographs and HRCT scans were reviewed separately, in random order, and without knowledge of diagnosis. On radiographs and HRCT scans, the fibrosis in cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis was situated predominantly in the middle lung zones or showed no zonal predominance. Lung apices and bases were relatively spared in all cases. The distribution of fibrosis in the transverse plane was random in seven cases, subpleural in six, and peri-bronchovascular in three. The distribution of fibrosis can allow distinction of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis from other causes of fibrosis in many cases.