Cystic lung lesions (paediatric)

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Cystic lesions in paediatric patients are usually congenital lesions and, as such, can be seen prenatally and following delivery.



These congenital lesions are predominantly covered by the overarching diagnosis of bronchopulmonary foregut malformation. This is a heterogeneous group of conditions that result from embryonic foregut maldevelopment and comprises:

In addition, conditions outwith this spectrum also cause cystic lung lesions:

It is important to remember that there are other causes of cystic lesions on a chest x-ray, including:


Of course, even though the majority of cases are congenital, there are plenty of examples of cystic lung lesions that are acquired:

  • pneumatocele: post-pneumonic (Staph) or following trauma
  • infective cavitation: much less common than in adults
  • abscess with air-fluid interface: if the child is supine, the gas at the top of the cavity will have the appearance of a cyst on the chest x-ray
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Article information

rID: 22517
Systems: Paediatrics, Chest
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Cystic lung lesion in a child
  • Paediatric cystic lung lesions

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Cases and figures

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    Congenital Cystic...
    Case 1 : CPAM
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    Case 2: CPAM
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