Chest High Resolution Computed Tomography Findings in Connective Tissue Diseases


1 Rheumatic Diseases Research Center, Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,

2 Radiology Ward of Imam Reza Hospital,

3 School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Background: Lung disorders are important for prognosis of connective tissue disease (CTD). Thus, chest radiography, High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) of the chest and ultrasonic echocardiogram are suggested after the diagnosis of these conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate chest HRCT findings in patients with CTD. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, we evaluated HRCT findings in patients with (CTD) hospitalized in Imam Reza Hospital in Mashhad from 2006- 2011. Patients’ age, sex, type of rheumatic disease and HRCT results were collected and analyzed by SPSS version 16.0 software. Results: out of 75 patients (78.67% females, 21.33% males with a mean age of 41.6 years), 56% had respiratory symptoms. Scleroderma was the most common disease (38.6%) followed by rheumatoid arthritis (26.6%) and systemic lupus erythematosus (14.6%). Interstitial tissue involvement of the lung was the most frequent finding in patients with scleroderma, dermatomyositis, polymyositis and Sjogren's syndrome (48.3%, 57.1%, 60% and 66.7%, respectively). Pleural thickening was the most common finding in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (45%). Pleural effusion was the most frequent finding in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (45.4%). Lymphadenopathy and bronchiectasis had the lowest prevalence (1.3%). Conclusion: Our data shows that interstitial tissue involvement, pleural thickening and pleural effusion are common in patients with rheumatic diseases which is consistent with some previous studies.