Diffuse alveolar damage (DAD), which represents the pathologic changes seen after acute lung in-jury, is caused by damage to all three layers of the alveolar wall and can ultimately result in alveolar collapse with loss of the normal pulmonary architecture. DAD has an acute phase that predom-inantly manifests as airspace disease at CT owing to filling of the alveoli with cells, plasma fluids, and hyaline membranes. DAD then evolves into a heterogeneous organizing phase, with mixed airspace and interstitial disease characterized by volume loss, architectural distortion, fibrosis, and parenchymal loss. Patients with DAD have a severe clinical course and typically require prolonged mechanical ventilation, which may result in ventilator-induced lung injury. In those patients who survive DAD, the lungs will remodel over time, but most will have residual findings at chest CT. Organizing pneumonia (OP) is a descriptive term for a histologic pattern characterized by in-tra-alveolar fibroblast plugs. The significance and pathogenesis of OP are controversial. Some authors regard it as part of a spectrum of acute lung injury, while others consider it a marker of acute or subacute lung injury. At CT, OP manifests with various forms of airspace disease that are most commonly bilateral and relatively homogeneous in appearance at individual time points. Patients with OP most often have a mild clinical course, although some may have residual findings at CT. In patients with DAD and OP, imaging findings can be combined with clinical information to suggest the diagnosis in many cases, with biopsy re-served for difficult cases with atypical findings or clinical manifestations. To best participate in the multidisciplinary approach to patients with lung injury, radiologists must not only recognize these entities but also describe them with consistent and meaningful terminology, examples of which are emphasized in the article.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere220176
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2023


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