Cancer treatments with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are associated with a unique set of drug toxicities called immune-related adverse events (irAES). The aim of the present study was to describe the radiological manifestation of irAES detectable by CT.
Retrospective analysis of 284 patients treated with ICI for various types of advanced cancer; of them, 129 patients were selected, all having been treated with single-agent ICI, and all with a baseline CT scan and follow-up scans available at our Institute. CT examinations were reviewed by two radiologists involved in the study with a consensus reading. Imaging findings consistent with irAES were reported and correlated with clinical-laboratory data.
Immune-related adverse events were found in 25/129 (19.4 %) patients. No statistically significant differences were found in either the prevalence of irAES or in the time of onset of tumour type. Thoracic complications were detected in 14/25 (56.0 %) patients consisting in: 3 radiation recall pneumonia, 3 Transient Asymptomatic Pulmonary Opacities (TAPOs), 3 hypersensitivity pneumonia, 2 diffuse alveolar damage, 2 organizing pneumonia, 1 sarcoid-like reaction. In the remaining 11/25 (44.0 %), there were extra-pulmonary complications: 3 colitis, 4 cholecystitis, 2 pancreatitis and 2 cases of visceral ischemia.
Radiologists should be aware of the wide spectrum of irAES as they could affect the outcome. Pneumonia is the most frequent irAES; however, the international classification for interstitial lung disease does not seem to be capable of describing all possible drug-related pulmonary toxicities. Additional findings included TAPOs, radiation recall pneumonia and sarcoid-like reaction.

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