Hampton's hump refers to an dome-shaped, pleurally-based opacification in the lung due to pulmonary embolism and lung infarction. This characteristic appearance is seen because the infarcted pulmonary arteries cause a wedge-shaped infarction but because the bronchial arterial circulation is preserved, the expected apex of the wedge is spared causing a rounded opacification rather than a wedge.
Opacification occurs secondary to haemorrhage due to the dual blood supply from the bronchial arteries 1 (see lung Infarction). In case of infarction it takes months to resolve and it often leaves a linear scar.
If the underlying parenchyma doesn't undergo infarction, the Hampton's hump will resolve within a week by keeping it's typical configuration. This is referred to as the melting sign because its resolution resemblance a melting ice cube 2.
Originally described by Aubrey Otis Hampton, an american radiologist in 1940.
- 1. Frazier AA, Galvin JR, Franks TJ et-al. From the archives of the AFIP: pulmonary vasculature: hypertension and infarction. Radiographics. 20 (2): 491-524. Radiographics (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Webb WR, Higgins CB. Thoracic Imaging: Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Radiology, North American Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2010) ISBN:1605479764. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
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