Swiss cheese sign (lungs)

Last revised by Bahman Rasuli on 26 Feb 2021

The Swiss cheese sign has been used for the appearance on CT of fluid-containing pneumatoceles, that typically occurs following pulmonary lacerations 1. They have also been described on CT appearances where there is pulmonary infection superimposed on emphysema 2.

The pneumatocoeles appear as 'holes' in the lung parenchyma and hence the description with respect to Swiss-style cheeses (e.g. Emmental), which contain multiple holes.

Other usage

It is sometimes used by pathologists to describe the gross pathological appearance in juvenile papillomatosis of the breast.

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Cases and figures

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