PURPOSE: To evaluate computed tomography (CT) findings of nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) based on the current classification of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) and elucidate a characteristic of previously diagnosed NSIP excluded from the current classification.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included 74 patients with biopsy-proven NSIP (idiopathic NSIP [I-NSIP], 39 patients; NSIP associated with connective tissue disease [CTD-NSIP], 35 patients). Among patients who were compatible with the current classification of IIPs, 29 and 21 were categorized as having current I-NSIP and current CTD-NSIP, respectively. The remaining 24 patients were categorized as having previous I-NSIP or previous CTD-NSIP due to the primary pathologic diagnosis of cellular NSIP or associated findings of acute inflammatory changes. CT findings were evaluated and compared among the four groups.
RESULTS: Current I-NSIP was indicated by ground-glass attenuation and reticulation with traction bronchiectasis/bronchiolectasis in predominantly peribronchovascular areas of the lower lung zone. The previous I-NSIP group tended to show broader airspace consolidation than the current I-NSIP group (p = 0.068). The previous CTD-NSIP group showed significantly broader airspace consolidation than the current I-NSIP group (p = 0.035).
CONCLUSION: Broad airspace consolidation is a characteristic of previously diagnosed CTD-NSIP excluded from the current classification of IIPs.