Correlation of pulmonary function and usual interstitial pneumonia computed tomography patterns in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Antonella Arcadu, Suzanne C. Byrne, Pietro Pirina, Thomas E. Hartman, Brian J. Bartholmai, Teng Moua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background Little is known about presenting ‘inconsistent’ or ‘possible’ usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) computed tomography (CT) patterns advancing to ‘consistent’ UIP as disease progresses in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We hypothesized that if ‘consistent’ UIP represented more advanced disease, such a pattern on presentation should also correlate with more severe pulmonary function test (PFT) abnormalities. Material and methods Consecutive IPF patients (2005–2013) diagnosed by international criteria with baseline PFT and CT were included. Presenting CTs were assessed by three expert radiologists for consensus UIP pattern (‘consistent’, ‘possible’, and ‘inconsistent’). Approximation of individual and combined interstitial abnormalities was also performed with correlation of interstitial abnormalities and UIP CT pattern made with PFT findings and survival. Results Three-hundred and fifty patients (70% male) were included with a mean age of 68.3 years. Mean percent predicted forced vital capacity (FVC%) and diffusion capacity (DLCO%) was 64% and 45.5% respectively. Older age and male gender correlated more with ‘consistent’ UIP CT pattern. FVC% was not associated with any UIP pattern but did correlate with total volume of radiologist assessed interstitial abnormalities. DLCO% was lower in those with ‘consistent’ UIP pattern. A ‘consistent’ UIP CT pattern was also not independently predictive of survival after correction for age, gender, FVC%, and DLCO%. Conclusion PFT findings appear to correlate with extent of radiologic disease but not specific morphologic patterns. Whether such UIP patterns represent different stages of disease severity or radiologic progression is not supported by coinciding pulmonary function decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Computed tomography
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pulmonary function test
  • Usual interstitial pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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