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Lung Cancer Associated With Diffuse Pulmonary Fibrosis: CT–Pathologic Correlation

Sakai, Shuji M.D.*; Ono, Minoru M.D.*; Nishio, Tetsuo M.D.; Kawarada, Yuji M.D.; Nagashima, Akira M.D.; Toyoshima, Satoshi M.D.§

Journal of Thoracic Imaging: April 2003 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 67-71

The authors reviewed the computed tomographic (CT) scans and pathologic specimens of 57 histologically proved bronchogenic carcinomas (35 squamous cell carcinomas, 12 small cell carcinomas, and 10 adenocarcinomas) in 47 patients with diffuse pulmonary fibrosis. The patients ranged in age from 61 to 87 years (mean age, 72 years; 42 men and 5 women). On radiography and CT, most tumors (82%) were located in peripheral areas of honeycomb lung. In 50 of the 57 lesions, the tumors were round or lobulated with sharp margins. In seven tumors, including six squamous cell carcinomas and one small cell carcinoma, the tumor invaded the adjacent honeycomb lung and lacked distinct margins. Intratumor lucency was seen in 13 tumors (five solitary and eight multiple). The CT findings, including high-resolution CT scans, were compared with the histologic findings in a subgroup of 29 lesions in 25 patients with available surgical or autopsy specimens. Invasive growth of tumors with unclear margins (four lesions), septal thickening of the contiguous/surrounding honeycombed areas (16 lesions), and discrete masses (nine lesions) with solitary (four of nine) or multiple (five of nine) intratumor lucencies. The lucencies in six of nine patients (67%) with intratumor lucencies were found to represent engulfed cystic airspaces histologically. CT revealed that bronchogenic carcinoma associated with diffuse pulmonary fibrosis has distinct morphologic characteristics that correlate histologically with a specific pattern of tumor growth.

From the Departments of *Radiology, †Respiratory Medicine, ‡Thoracic Surgery, and §Pathology, Kitakyushu Municipal Medical Center, Japan.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Shuji Sakai, Department of Clinical Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1, Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, 812-8582 Japan. E-mail:

Presented at Thoracic Imaging 1998 and the 16th Annual Meeting and Postgraduate Course of the Society of Thoracic Radiology.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.