BACKGROUND. Acute exacerbation (AE) is a life-threatening complication of interstitial pneumonia (IP). Thoracic surgery may trigger AE. OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of preoperative CT findings in predicting postoperative AE in patients with IP and lung cancer. METHODS. This retrospective case-control study included patients from 22 institutions who had IP and underwent thoracic surgery for lung cancer. AE was diagnosed on the basis of symptoms and imaging findings noted within 30 days after surgery and the absence of alternate causes. For each patient with AE, two control patients without AE were identified. After exclusions, the study included 92 patients (78 men and 14 women; 31 with AE [the AE group] and 61 without AE [the no-AE group]; mean age, 72 years). Two radiologists independently reviewed preoperative thin-slice CT examinations for pulmonary findings and resolved differences by consensus. The AE and no-AE groups were compared using the Fisher exact and Mann-Whitney U tests. Multivariable logistic regression was performed. Interreader agreement was assessed by kappa coefficients. RESULTS. A total of 94% of patients in the AE group underwent segmentectomy or other surgery that was more extensive than wedge resection versus 75% in the no-AE group (p =.046). The usual IP pattern was present in 58% of the AE group versus 74% of the no-AE group (p =.16). According to subjective visual scoring, the mean (± SD) ground-glass opacity (GGO) extent was 6.3 ± 5.4 in the AE group versus 3.9 ± 3.8 in the no-AE group (p =.03), and the mean consolidation extent was 0.5 ± 1.2 in the AE group versus 0.1 ± 0.3 in the no-AE group (p =.009). Mean pulmonary trunk diameter was 28 ± 4 mm in the AE group versus 26 ± 3 mm in the no-AE group (p =.02). In a model of CT features only, independent predictors of AE (p <.05) were GGO extent (odds ratio [OR], 2.8), consolidation extent (OR, 9.4), and pulmonary trunk diameter (OR, 4.2); this model achieved an AUC of 0.75, a PPV of 71%, and an NPV of 77% for AE. When CT and clinical variables were combined, undergoing segmentectomy or more extensive surgery also independently predicted AE (OR, 8.2; p =.02). CONCLUSION. The presence of GGO, consolidation, and pulmonary trunk enlargement on preoperative CT predicts AE in patients with IP who are undergoing lung cancer surgery. CLINICAL IMPACT. Patients with IP and lung cancer should be carefully managed when predictive CT features are present. Wedge resection, if possible, may help reduce the risk of AE in these patients.
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