Luftsichel sign (lungs)

The Luftsichel sign is seen in some cases of left upper lobe collapse and refers to the frontal chest radiographic appearance due to hyperinflation of the superior segment of the left lower lobe interposing itself between the mediastinum and the collapsed left upper lobe.  

Radiographic features

Chest radiograph

In many cases of left upper lobe collapse the anterior parts of the aortic arch, and thus the aortic knuckle, are abutted by collapsed lung and thus the normal silhouette is lost. In some case the apical (superior) segment of the left lower lobe is hyperinflated and becomes interposed between the collapsed lung and the adjacent aortic arch. In such cases the aortic knuckle silhouette remains visible. The collapsed left upper lobe is thus displaced laterally away from the mediastinum.

History and etymology

It is derived from the German words  luft = air, sichel = sickle, literally describes an ‘air crescent’ which may be seen between the aortic arch and the medial border of the collapse.

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Article Information

rID: 5774
System: Chest
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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