0
Original Research: Imaging |

Causes and Imaging Patterns of Tree-in-Bud OpacitiesCauses of Tree-in-Bud Opacities

Wallace T. Miller, Jr, MD; Jill S. Panosian, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Radiology (Dr Miller), and the School of Medicine (Dr Panosian), University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA.

Correspondence to: Wallace T. Miller Jr, MD, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Department of Radiology, 3400 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail: wallacejr.miller@uphs.upenn.edu


Funding/Support: The authors have reported to CHEST that no funding was received for this study.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;144(6):1883-1892. doi:10.1378/chest.13-1270
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  Multiple causes for tree-in-bud (TIB) opacities have been reported. However, to our knowledge the relative frequencies of the causes have not been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative frequency of causes of TIB opacities and identify patterns of disease associated with TIB opacities.

Methods:  Cases with TIB opacities in the radiology report in 2010 were identified by searching the Radiology Information System. Medical records and CT scan examinations were reviewed for the causes of TIB opacities. Patterns of disease associated with TIB opacities were evaluated.

Results:  Causes for TIB opacities were established in 166 of 406 (40.9%) cases. Respiratory infections (119 of 166, 72%) with mycobacteria (65 of 166, 39%), bacteria (44 of 166, 27%), viruses (four of 166, 3%), or multiple organisms (six of 166, 4%) were most common. Aspiration was the cause in 42 of 166 (25%). Alternating areas of normal lung with regions of small airways disease (TIB opacities, bronchiectasis) (random small airways pattern) was specific (0.92) for Mycobacterium avium complex infection. Nearly uniform distribution of bronchiectasis (widespread bronchiectasis pattern) was specific for “diseases predisposing to airway infection” (specificity 0.92), such as cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and immunodeficiency states. Consolidation and TIB opacities (bronchopneumonia pattern) were usually due to bacterial infection or aspiration. Dependent distribution (specificity 0.79) and esophageal abnormality (specificity 0.86) with TIB opacities were associated with aspiration. Chronicity of findings was associated with mycobacterial infection (P < .0001, sensitivity 0.96). Acuteness of findings was associated with bacterial infection (P < .001, specificity 0.87).

Conclusions:  TIB opacities are most often a manifestation of infections or aspiration. Patterns of disease can provide clues to the most likely diagnosis.

Figures in this Article

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543