Pulmonary findings in Churg–Strauss syndrome in chest X-rays and high resolution computed tomography at the time of initial diagnosis
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Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) is a rare, systemic, necrotizing, small- and middle-sized vessel vasculitis which is accompanied by blood eosinophilia, eosinophil infiltration of various tissues, and bronchial asthma. The lungs are the organs most often involved in CSS. The aim of this study was a retrospective evaluation of the pulmonary findings in chest X-rays and high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) in CSS patients at the time of initial diagnosis and to determine their frequency, character, and location. Seventeen CSS patients were studied (12 women; 5 men; aged 29-56 years). In all patients at the time of initial diagnosis, chest X-rays were performed, and in 15 patients, HRCT was performed additionally. The radiological images were evaluated independently by two radiologists who reached a decision by consensus. Out of 17 patients studied, chest X-rays revealed parenchymal abnormalities in 11, pleural effusion in three, and bronchial wall thickening in one. In five patients, no abnormalities in chest X-rays were found. In HRCT, abnormalities were found in all patients (15 patients, 100%). Predominant HRCT findings consisted of: ground-glass opacities and consolidations found in 13 patients (86.7%). Additionally, in four patients, pulmonary micronodules were described; in ten, interlobular septal thickening; in three, linear opacities; in ten, bronchial wall thickening and/or bronchial dilatation; and in three, pleural effusions. Ground-glass opacities and consolidation abnormalities distribution pattern were peripheral in seven and random in six patients. In patients with CSS, the most common pulmonary radiological findings are parenchymal opacities, which may be peripheral or random in distribution. Pathologic changes were found in 70.6% of patient in chest X-rays, and in 100%, when HRCT was performed. These changes are nonspecific; however, they should be not overlooked, as they may help in establishing the diagnosis and suggest the prognosis.
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