Pulmonary nodule

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Pulmonary nodules are small, rounded opacities within the pulmonary interstitium. Pulmonary nodules are common and, as the spatial resolution of CT scanners has increased, detection of smaller and smaller nodules has occurred, which are more often an incidental finding.

Pulmonary nodules can be classified according to size, morphology and/or distribution.

Size
Morphology
Distribution

They are generally homogeneous (without air bronchograms or alveolograms) and are well-defined since their margins are sharp and they are surrounded by normal aerated lung. They are quite separate from airspace nodules that often have an irregular margin and are usually ~8 mm in diameter. (For further discussion, see the article on nodular opacification.)

The differential diagnosis for a nodule can be refined by its size, location, and density. Solitary pulmonary nodules and hyperdense pulmonary nodules are discussed further elsewhere.

A micronodular or miliary pattern is predominately seen in granulomatous processes, haematogenous metastases to the lungs and pneumoconioses. Nodules and masses are most often seen in metastatic disease to the lung.

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Article Information

rID: 10187
System: Chest
Tags: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pulmonary nodules
  • Lung nodule
  • Pulmonary nodule
  • Lung nodules
  • Intrapulmonary nodules
  • Intrapulmonary nodule

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