Reticulation pattern without honeycombing on high-resolution CT is associated with the risk of disease progression in interstitial lung diseases

Minna Mononen, Eeva Saari, Hannele Hasala, Hannu Pekka Kettunen, Sanna Suoranta, Hanna Nurmi, Miia Kärkkäinen, Tuomas Selander, Jukka Randell, Jari Laurikka, Toomas Uibu, Heikki Koskela, Riitta Kaarteenaho, Minna Purokivi

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Background: The disease course of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is progressive and occasionally, other types of interstitial lung disease (ILD) may progress similarly to IPF. This study aimed to evaluate risk factors for disease progression within 24 months in patients with various ILDs. Methods: This prospective study obtained 97 patients with a suspected ILD who underwent a transbronchial lung cryobiopsy. The extent of several high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) patterns was assessed. Due to the inclusion criteria the study population presented a low extent of honeycombing and definite usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern on HRCT suggesting an early stage of ILD. Disease progression within 24 months despite treatment was defined as a relative decline of ≥ 10% in forced vital capacity (FVC), or a relative decline in FVC of ≥ 5% and one of the three additional criteria: (1) a decline in diffusion capacity to carbon monoxide (DLCO) ≥ 15%; (2) increased fibrosis on HRCT; (3) progressive symptoms, or progressive symptoms and increased fibrosis on HRCT. The same definition was utilized in patients with IPF and other ILDs. Risk factors for disease progression were evaluated in a multivariable logistic regression model. Results: Disease progression was revealed in 52% of the patients with ILD, 51% of the patients with IPF, and 53% of the patients with other types of ILD. A high extent of reticulation on HRCT (Odds ratio [OR] 3.11, 95% Confidence interval [CI] 1.21–7.98, P = 0.019) and never smoking (OR 3.11, CI 1.12–8.63, P = 0.029) were associated with disease progression whereas platelet count (OR 2.06 per 100 units increase, CI 0.96–4.45, P = 0.065) did not quite reach statistical significance. Conclusion: Higher extent of reticulation on HRCT and never smoking appeared to associate with the risk of disease progression within 24 months in ILD patients without honeycombing. Approximately half of the patients with ILD revealed disease progression, and similar proportions were observed in patients with IPF and in other types of ILD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number313
JournalBmc Pulmonary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Disease progression
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Radiology

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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