OBJECTIVE. A substantial proportion of cases of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) are due to connective tissue disease (CTD)-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD). The purpose of this study was to determine whether specifc CT fndings can help differentiate a UIP pattern of CTD-ILD from a UIP pattern of idiopathic pulmonary fbrosis (IPF) and whether these signs are associated with survival. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Adults visiting an ILD clinic from 2006 to 2015 enrolled in a research registry with a multidisciplinary diagnosis of CTD-ILD or IPF and a UIP pattern at high-resolution CT were included in the study. In these subjects with CT fndings of UIP due to either IPF or CTD-ILD, three CT fndings anecdotally associated with CTD-ILD were assessed for diagnostic accuracy: the "straight-edge" sign, the "exuberant honeycombing" sign, and the "anterior upper lobe" sign. Survival assessments were performed with univariate and multivariable techniques. RESULTS. The subjects included 63 patients who had CTD-ILD and 133 patients who had IPF with a UIP pattern at CT. All three CT signs were signifcantly more common in subjects with CTD-ILD than those with IPF (prevalence, 22.2-25.4% for CTD-ILD, 6.0-12.8% for IPF; p = 0.028 to < 0.001). The highest specifcity (94.0%) and sensitivity (25.4%) were seen for the straight-edge sign. No CT sign was associated with survival in multivariable analysis. CONCLUSION. Although UIP is usually associated with IPF, the index of suspicion for CTD-ILD should be raised in the care of patients with any of the three CT signs. A thorough workup for CTD-ILD should be pursued, including referral to the rheumatology department.
- Connective tissue disease
- Idiopathic pulmonary fbrosis
- Usual interstitial pneumonia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging