Thoracic Manifestations of Collagen Vascular Diseases
RadioGraphics 2012; 32:33-50
Julia Capobianco, MD ,Alexandre Grimberg, MD , Bruna M. Thompson, MD , Viviane B. Antunes, MD, MSc , Dany Jasinowodolinski, MD Gustavo S. P. Meirelles, MD, PhD
Collagen vascular diseases are a diverse group of immunologically mediated systemic disorders that often lead to thoracic changes. The collagen vascular diseases that most commonly involve the lung are rheumatoid arthritis, progressive systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, and Sjögren syndrome. Interstitial lung disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension are the main causes of mortality and morbidity among patients with collagen vascular diseases. Given the broad spectrum of possible thoracic manifestations and the varying frequency with which different interstitial lung diseases occur, the interpretation of thoracic images obtained in patients with collagen vascular diseases can be challenging. The task may be more difficult in the presence of treat-ment-related complications such as drug toxicity and infections, which are common in this group of patients. Although chest radiography is most often used for screening and monitoring of thoracic alterations, high-resolution computed tomography can provide additional information about lung involvement in collagen vascular diseases and may be especially helpful for differentiating specific disease patterns in the lung. General knowledge about the manifestations of thoracic involvement in collagen vascular diseases allows radiologists to provide better guidance for treatment and follow-up of these patients.