The aim of the study is to illustrate the imaging features of the intrathoracic manifestations of collagen vascular diseases with emphasis on high-resolution chest computed tomography.
Collagen vascular diseases (CVD) are a spectrum of systemic autoimmune disorders,
which commonly lead to thoracic changes.
Though these disorders have unique and distinguishing features,
they share the common underlying mechanisms of systemic autoimmunity and immune-mediated organ damage.
The frequency of intrathoracic manifestations and the patterns of abnormality are variable depending on the type of CVD and may involve: lung parenchyma,
The collagen vascular diseases that most frequently involve the lungs are rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
systemic lupus erythematosus (LE),...
Imaging findings OR procedure details
Interstitial lung disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension are the main causes of mortality and morbidity among patients with collagen vascular diseases. Intrathoracic involvement may also be secondary to the disease therapy,
including drug toxicity and infections by bacteria or opportunistic organisms,
as a result of immunosuppression.1,2 Thoracic manifestations of CVD also include disease specific findings,
for example necrobiotic nodules in RA,
esophageal dilatation and dysmotility among patients with SScl and hypoventilation due to weakness of the respiratory muscles in polymyositis (Fig.
Intrathoracic manifestations of CVD are common and are clinically important.
The main pulmonary manifestations include diffuse interstitial pneumonia and pulmonary hypertension,
and represent the main causes of morbidity and mortality in these patients.
Knowledge of the main thoracic manifestations of each type of collagen vascular disease and understanding of the major associated complications are crucial for radiologists to provide better guidance for treatment and follow-up of these patients.
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