Prevalence of Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Chronic Cough Taking Chest X-rays and CT Chest as Diagnostic Tools

  • Abdul Qadeer Khan Department of Radiology, PAF Hospital, Islamabad
  • Shaista Nayyar Department of Radiology, PAF Hospital, Islamabad
  • Sohaib Khalid Resident Radiology, PAF Hospital, ISB.
  • Irum Taqi Department of Radiology, PAF Hospital, Islamabad
  • Murtaza Ahmed Khan Department of Neurosurgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore
Keywords: Interstitial Lung Disease, Chronic Cough, Chest X-ray, Computed Tomography


Introduction: With well over 200 types of pulmonary disorders, ILD is a growing global health burden with chronic cough being the most frequent symptom. As it hampers the basic respiratory mechanism, it eventually deteriorates the overall quality of life. The diagnosis of ILD is quite challenging and the accuracy rates with conventional tests are quite low.

Material and methods: A cross-sectional study on 200 patients was performed in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan. The study took place from the period of 15th April to 15th July 2023. Chest X-ray (CXR) and Computed Tomography (CT) Chest were used as diagnostic tools.

Results: The chest x-ray detected ILD in 114 (57%) while the chest CT identified in 178 (89%) of the patients. CXR and CT had a sensitivity of 65.05 and 95.65 and a specificity of 45.1 and 85.2 respectively. CXR and CT detected reticular opacity, nodular opacity, and ground glass opacity in 66% vs 81%, 41% vs 78%, and 33% vs 55% of the ILD patients. Dyspnoea (85%), fever (30%), arthralgia (24%), and weight loss (9%) were found as clinical indications.

Conclusion: CXR can be used to perform initial preliminary tests to filter out the presence of other diseases in patients with ILD. However, it cannot be solely relied on as a diagnostic tool. CT Chest can be the choice of imaging modality in diagnosing ILD as it outperformed CXR in many aspects of our study, with better precision, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity.

Original Articles