Pulmonary vasculitis in Behçet’s disease: reference atlas computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) findings and risk assessment-management proposal

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Yasser Emad
Yasser Ragab
Diletta Cozzi
Ossama Ibrahim
Walaa Abdelrahman
Mabrouk Abdelali
Melek Kechida
Manal Hassanin
Samar Tharwat
Shaimaa Salah
Nashwa Elshaarawy
Faten Frikha
Sara Hassanein
Pablo Young
Sonia Pankl
Bhupen Barman
Alaa Abou‑Zeid
Johannes Rasker


Behçet’s disease, pulmonary vasculitis; pulmonary artery pseudoaneurysms; True pulmonary artery aneurysms; vasculitis management.


Background and aim.  Pulmonary artery aneurysms (PAAs) are the most well-defined type of pulmonary vascular complication in Behçet's disease (BD).The aim of this study is to analyze which CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) signs are associated with serious morbidity and mortality.

Methods. The study included 42 BD patients with pulmonary vascular complications. All patients' medical records were reviewed retrospectively in terms of demographics, disease characteristics, laboratory investigations, pulmonary manifestations, arterial and/or venous thrombosis and CTPA vascular and parenchymal findings.

Results. Deep venous thrombosis was observed in 31(73.8%) patients, arterial thrombosis in 13(31%), peripheral arterial aneurysms in 12(286%), haemoptysis in 38 (90.5%), and fatal haemoptysis in 8(19 %) patients. CTPA revealed: in situ thrombosis in 14(33.3%) patients, true stable PAAs in 13(31), true unstable PAAs in 11(26.2%), stable pulmonary artery pseudoaneurysms (PAPs) in 7(16.7%), unstable PAPs in 17(40.5%), the latter were associated with perianeurysmal leaking in 26(61.9%) and bronchial indentation in 19(45.2%).In regression analysis, fatal outcomes were associated with age in years (p=0.035), arterial thrombosis (p=0.025), peripheral arterial aneurysms (p=0.010), intracardiac thrombosis (p=0.026) and positively associated with haemoptysis severity (p<0.001).

Conclusion. Peripheral arterial thrombosis and/or aneurysms, intracardiac thrombosis and haemoptysis severity are predictor of fatal outcomes in BD pulmonary vasculitis. PAPs with perianeurysmal alveolar haemorrhage and/or bronchial indentation are serious CTPA signs that require prompt identification and aggressive treatment. PAPs are a more serious aneurysmal pattern than true PAAs because they are a contained rupture of a PA branch in the context of pulmonary vasculitis.

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