Diffuse pulmonary nodules on HRCT (an approach)

Dr Derek Smith and Dr Aditya Shetty et al.

A number of differentials must be kept in mind while approaching diffuse pulmonary nodules. Interpretation is easier if nodules are the only abnormality.

These differentials can be narrowed down based on the several criteria:

Based on appearance 
Based on pattern of distribution
Based on lobar involvement

There is a lot of overlap in pathology, but as a very crude guide consider:

  • upper and middle lobes: silicosis
  • upper lobe: sarcoidosis, respiratory bronchiolitis
  • peripheral: infection
  • peripheral and lung bases: metastases
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Article information

rID: 27258
System: Chest
Section: Approach
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Approach to diffuse pulmonary nodules
  • Differential diagnosis of diffuse pulmonary nodules
  • Approach to diffuse pulmonary nodules on CT chest
  • Approach to micronodular lung disease

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