Left upper lobe consolidation

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 4 Oct 2022

Left upper lobe consolidation refers to consolidation in part (incomplete) or all (complete) of the left upper lobe.

Consolidation refers to the alveolar air spaces being filled with fluid (exudate/transudate/blood), cells (inflammatory), tissue, or other material.

The list of causes of consolidation is broad and includes:

Consolidation is usually obvious on CT with the anatomical location easy to define through visualization of the pleural fissures, however features can be subtle on chest radiography. 

Features of left upper lobe consolidation on CXR include:

It must be remembered that the homogeneity of the consolidation will be influenced by any underlying lung disease.

Occasionally with complete lobar consolidation, there may be an increased volume of the affected lobe, rather than the more frequent collapse. When the fissures are outwardly convex, the appearance is referred to as the bulging fissure sign.

A mnemonic to remember the general features of consolidation is A2BC3.

  • left upper lobe collapse: can be a subtle but classic diagnosis, with left lung veiling opacification and signs of volume loss

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads