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Variable utility of mosaic attenuation to distinguish fibrotic hypersensitivity pneumonitis from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Barnett, Joseph; Molyneaux, Philip L; Rawal, Bhavin; Abdullah, Rezaur; Hare, Samanjit S; Vancheeswaran, Rama; Desai, Sujal R; Maher, Toby M; Wells, Athol U; Devaraj, Anand.
Eur Respir J; 54(1)2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31164428


Mosaic attenuation on computed tomography (CT) has been identified in international guidelines as an important diagnostic feature of fibrotic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (FHP) as opposed to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). However, mosaic attenuation comprises several different radiological signs (low-density lobules, preserved lobules, air trapping and the so-called "headcheese sign") which may have differing diagnostic utility. Furthermore, the extent of mosaic attenuation required to distinguish these two diagnoses is uncertain and thresholds of mosaic attenuation from international guidelines have not been validated.


Inspiratory and expiratory CT scans were evaluated by two readers in 102 patients (IPF n=57; FHP n=45) using a semiquantitative scoring system for mosaic attenuation. Findings were validated in an external cohort from a secondary referral institution (IPF n=34; FHP n=28).


Low-density lobules and air trapping were a frequent finding in IPF, present in up to 51% of patients. A requirement for increasing extent of low-density lobules and air trapping based on guidelines (American Thoracic Society and Fleischner Society) was associated with increased specificity for the diagnosis of FHP (0.96 and 0.98, respectively) but reduced sensitivity (0.16 and 0.20, respectively). The headcheese sign was found to be highly specific (0.93) and moderately sensitive (0.49) for a high-confidence diagnosis of FHP. The high specificity of the headcheese sign was maintained in the validation cohort and when patients with other CT features of FHP were excluded.


Mosaic attenuation is a frequent finding in IPF. However, the headcheese sign can be confidently considered as being inconsistent with a diagnosis of IPF and specific for FHP.
Selo DaSilva