Mosaic attenuation pattern on thin-section CT scans of the lung: Differentiation among infiltrative lung, airway, and vascular diseases as a cause

Sylvia A. Worthy, Nestor L. Müller, Thomas E. Hartman, Stephen J. Swensen, Simon P.G. Padley, David M. Hansell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine whether infiltrative lung, airway, or vascular disease can be differentiated as the cause of mosaic attenuation on thin- section computed tomographic (CT) scans of the lung. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thin-section CT scans were reviewed in 70 patients examined at three institutions. A mosaic attenuation pattern and pathologic or clinical proof of a specific type of disease were demonstrated. Causes of the mosaic pattern included infiltrative lung disease (n = 37), airway disease (n = 22), and vascular disease (n = 11). Thin-section CT findings were assessed independently by two observers blinded to clinical findings. RESULTS: The type of disease was identified correctly at CT in 58 (83%) of 70 patients by observer 1 and 57 (81%) of 70 patients by observer 2. Infiltrative lung disease was diagnosed correctly by both observers in 34 (92%) of 37 cases. Observer 1 identified 21 (95%) of 22 cases of airway disease and three (27%) of 11 cases of vascular disease. Observer 2 identified 19 (86%) of 22 cases of airway disease and four (36%) of 11 cases of vascular disease. CONCLUSION: Infiltrative lung disease and airway disease may be differentiated reliably as the cause of mosaic attenuation on lung CT scans, whereas vascular disease is often misinterpreted as infiltrative lung disease or airway disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
JournalRadiology
Volume205
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1997

Keywords

  • Bronchiolitis obliterans
  • Lung, CT
  • Lung, diseases
  • Lung, interstitial disease
  • Lung, vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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