CT Honeycombing in Interstitial Lung Disease Linked to Higher Mortality Rates

Patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) who had honeycombing on chest computed tomography (CT) had higher mortality rates than patients without honeycombing, according to study results published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Medical records were examined from adult participants with either multidisciplinary or adjudicated ILD diagnosis who had a chest CT scan at diagnosis. Participants were stratified based on the presence or absence of honeycombing and vital status was compared in both groups.

Of the 11,143 participants screened, 1330 participants with multidisciplinary diagnosis or independently adjudicated ILD met the study inclusion criteria. Of those 1330 participants, 492 (37%) with honeycombing were identified. In addition, 330 participants died over 4831 person-years of follow-up.

The mean survival time in participants with CT honeycombing was 107 months compared with 161 months in participants without CT honeycombing. Furthermore, the mortality rate increased by 40% for every 5% increase in the extent of CT honeycombing.

“We have shown that CT honeycombing is highly prevalent in diverse forms of ILD and that CT honeycombing is associated with an increased long-term mortality rate compared to those without honeycombing,” the researchers wrote. “Importantly, with the exception of connective tissue disease-ILD, CT honeycombing conferred mortality rates similar to [idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis], suggesting that CT honeycombing denotes a pulmonary fibrosis-ILD phenotype.”

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Disclosures: Several authors report financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. For a full list, please visit the original


Adegunsoye A, Oldham J, Bellam S, et al. CT honeycombing identifies a progressive fibrotic phenotype with increased mortality across diverse interstitial lung diseases [published online January 17, 2019]. Ann Am Thorac Soc. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201807-443OC