Honeycomb lung

Honeycomb lung

Most of my readers would have heard this term. This term actually refers to both the The radiological and gross appearance of the lungs resulting from diffuse fibrosis and cystic dilation of bronchioles. The pathogenic factors are variable and the prognosis depends on individual factors. This link will show you the gross presentation of Honeycomb lung.

When Honeycombing occurs it usually implies an irreversible process. Recently we had a 43 yr old female admitted due to massive hemoptysis for 2 days. She was a house wife and her past history was unremarkable except for the fact that she had completed a course of anti tuberculosis drug therapy 7 years ago. she was not anemic on examination and she had brought the coughed up blood with her for the doctors, which was bright red. Her Chest Xray showed a cavity lesion in apex of left lung. In addition there was honeycombing of lung in the right upper zone too.

While she was admitted and her treatment started, I thought about possible causes of honeycombing and did find a list on searching.

Before we go ahead, can you think of possible causes of honeycombing of lung on chest xray?

1: ?



Ok, here we go, here is my list of these conditions:

Extrinsic allergic alveolitis

  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cystic bronchiectasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and Scleroderma
  • Drugs : Busulphan, Bleomycin, Cyclophosphamide, Melphalan and Nitrofurantoin
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Langerhan cell histiocytosis
  • Idiopathic interstitial fibrosis
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Tuberous sclerosis.


It would be encouraging to find additions to above list.

3 thoughts on “Honeycomb lung

  1. catherine

    thanks for the sharing, may i know what happen to the lady and what kinds of treatment she’s getting now? i hv a close relative who presented with haemoptysis for 2 episodes, 1st was 1 year ago and 2nd episodes occur recently. it was frank blood with minimal amount, with on & off low grade fever. no LOA & LOW. otherwise no other relevant symptoms. she’s a 61 years old lady and she works as a nurse. no hx of TB and denied TB contact. HRCT shows right middle lobe honeycombing and lower lobes bronchiectasis.

    1. Munir Abbasi

      Apologies for late reply. :-)

      The lady came for follow up twice. She was doing fine when last seen. I havent seen her since then.

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