Thin walled cystic lung cancer

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 25 Aug 2021

Thin walled cystic lung cancers are a rare morphological form of lung cancers which on imaging appears as a thin walled (usually 1-4 mm wall thickness) cystic space. There is some overlap with the term lung cancer associated with cystic airspaces. They may develop suspicious features on serial imaging such as:

  • asymmetric wall thickening
  • separation in cysts
  • irregular margin
  • small spicules
  • dragging sensation in the pleura
  • lobulation
  • associated ground-glass opacities


They may represent various histological types such as adenocarcinoma (tends to be commonest type 5), squamous cell carcinoma and lymphoma.

See also

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