Honeycombing refers to the computed tomographic (CT) manifestation of diffuse pulmonary fibrosis (usual interstitial pneumonia). The Fleischner Society definition is clustered cystic air spaces (between 3-10mm in diameter but occasionally as large as 2.5 cm) which are usually subpleural and basal in distribution. The walls of the cysts are well-defined and often thick (1-3 mm) 4

Honeycombing is an irreversible finding in interstitial lung disease and associated with a poor prognosis.


Honeycombing consists of enlarged airspaces with thick fibrotic wall lined by bronchiolar epithelium and often filled with mucin and inflammatory cells 6.

Differential diagnosis


The term “honeycomb lung” is thought to have originated in the 19th century in Germany and is thought to have  first appeared in 1949 in a study by N Oswald and T Parkinson 5.

See also

Inspired signs
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Article Information

rID: 1462
System: Chest
Section: Signs
Tag: lung
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Honeycomb lung
  • Honeycombed lung
  • Honeycomb lungs
  • Honeycombed lungs
  • Honey combing
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    Photograph - Bee honeycomb
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    pulmonary fibrosi...
    Case 1
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    Honeycomb lung: gross pathology
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    Predominantly bas...
    Case 2
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    Case 4
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