There are many tumor-like conditions of the pleura. These are non-malignant entities that on imaging may mimic a pleural tumor.
Tumors of the chest wall are varied, some of which are found most often in this region. They can be divided into benign and malignant tumors and into those which arise in the ribcage and those of soft tissue density.
Benign tumors include 1,3,4:
Tumor spread through air spaces (STAS) is a relatively recently recognized pattern of invasion in lung adenocarcinoma. According to the 2015 WHO classification, STAS is defined as “micropapillary clusters, solid nests, or single cells spreading within air spaces beyond the edge of the main tumor...
A tumor-to-tumor metastasis, also known as a collision tumor, is a rare metastatic process in which a primary malignant tumor ('donor') metastasizes to another tumor ('recipient'), most commonly a benign tumor such as a meningioma.
Tumor-to-tumor metastasis is considered very rare...
The twelfth rib is an atypical rib. It is the shortest rib, and one of two floating ribs.
The 12th rib has a single facet on its head for articulation with the T12 vertebra. It has a short neck and no tubercle. It also lacks a costal groove and angle. internal surface ...
Type IV endoleaks are a type of endoleak which usually occurs secondary to graft porosity and are typically seen in the immediate post operative angiogram following an endovascular aneurysm repair.
Type IV endoleaks are extremely rare and studies report a prevalence of 0.3%. This ...
Typical pulmonary carcinoid tumors are considered the more common and more benign low grade form of peripheral pulmonary carcinoid tumors. There is little or no known association between typical carcinoid tumors and tobacco use or exposure to other carcinogens which contrasts to atypical carcino...
Typical ribs are those numbered 2 to 10 with ribs 1, 11 and 12 considered atypical.
A typical rib is long and flat. They contain a:
Ribs have a rounded, smooth superior border. The inferior border is thin and sharp.
The term unfolded aorta refers to the widened and 'opened up' appearance of the aortic arch on a frontal chest radiograph. It is one of the more common causes for apparent mediastinal widening and is seen with increasing age.
It occurs due to the discrepancy in the growth of the ascending aorta...
A unifocalisation procedure is a corrective surgical technique used in patients with complete pulmonary artery atresia with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries (MAPCAs). In this technique, the collateral vessels supplying blood from the aorta directly to the lungs are brought into continuit...
Mnemonics for a unilateral hyperlucent hemithorax include:
C: contralateral lung increased density, e.g. supine pleural effusion
A: air, e.g. pneumothorax
W: wall, e.g. chest wall mass, mastectomy, polio, Poland syndrome, surgical re...
Unilateral hypertranslucent hemithorax has many potential causes. It may be the result of rotation away from an optimal position or because of pathology.
A unilateral hypertranslucent hemithorax may be caused by the positioning of the patient. Rotation away from the radiation beam alt...
Unilateral pulmonary artery atresia (UPAA), also known as unilateral absence of the pulmonary artery (UAPA) or proximal interruption of the pulmonary artery, is a variant of pulmonary artery atresia.
The term interruption is preferred by some to absence or atresia because the anom...
Unilateral pulmonary edema represents only 2% of cardiogenic pulmonary edema with predilection for the right upper lobe and is strongly associated with severe mitral regurgitation 1, 2. It is hypothesized that the regurgitation jet is directed towards the right superior pulmonary vein thus prefe...
Unilateral pulmonary vein atresia is a type of pulmonary vein atresia.
The condition usually present in infancy or childhood with recurrent episodes of pneumonia and/or hemoptysis. Presentation in adulthood does occur but is uncommon.
It results from failure o...
The upper and lower lobe distribution of certain bilateral pulmonary pathologies can be recalled using the following mnemonics:
upper lobe or apical predominance: CASSET HPP or SET CAP
lower lobe or bibasilar predominance: BAD RASH
C: cystic fibrosis
A: ankylosing spo...
Distribution of bronchiectasis can help in narrowing the differential diagnosis. Upper lobe bronchiectasis is typically seen in:
Rarely it may be seen with non tuberculous mycobacterial infection (e.g. MAC infection 2). Traction bronchiectasis in the upper lobes c...
Upper lobe predominant pulmonary fibrosis can be associated with a number of pathologies. These include
cystic fibrosis: see pulmonary manifestations of cystic fibrosis
Langerhans cell histiocytosis
Upper lobe pulmonary venous diversion (cephalisation) reflects elevation of left atrial pressure and can occur with pulmonary edema. It produces stag-antler's sign on a frontal chest x-ray.
The normal left atrial pressure is 5-10 mmHg. An elevation of left atrial pressure to 10-15 mmHg will res...
The upper zone is one of the four chest radiograph zones. Sometimes the upper zone includes the apical zone.
on frontal chest radiographs, the upper zone extends from the inferior margin of the clavicles to the superior aspect of the hilum
Urinothorax, also known as urothorax, is a rare cause of pleural effusion due to the accumulation of urine within the pleural space.
Patients present with varying degrees of respiratory distress depending on the amount of fluid that has accumulated 1,3.
The ubiquitous USB flash drive (or USB stick) may be an odd article on a radiology website, but those who report a lot of chest radiographs will be aware that it can be often be confused for an implantable loop recorder device or leadless pacemaker.
Whilst USB drives com...
Usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) is a histopathologic and radiologic pattern of interstitial lung disease, which is the hallmark pattern for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
On imaging, UIP usually presents with a lung volume loss and a craniocaudal gradient of peripheral septal thickeni...
American Thoracic Society (ATS) criteria for the histopathological diagnosis of usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) are as follows:
advanced subpleural or paraseptal fibrosis +/- honeycombing
patchy temporally heterogeneous fibrosis
the absence of features against UIP
The Valsalva maneuver is the forced expiration of air against a closed airway, resulting in increased intra-abdominal, intrathoracic and pharyngeal pressure. It can be performed against a closed glottis or by one closing the mouth and pinching the nose while forcibly exhaling.
It is commonly us...
Varicella pneumonia is a type of viral pneumonia. It is a common cause of multiple small round calcific lung lesions. Varicella-zoster virus most commonly causes self-limited benign disease (chickenpox) in children. However, in adults it tends to cause significant complications including varicel...
Varicose bronchiectasis refers to an uncommon morphological sub type of bronchiectasis. According to one study, this type as a pure form accounted for ~10% of all bronchiectasis 1.
For a general discussion, please refer to the article on bronchiectasis.
There are intermi...
Vascular invasion in lung cancer is one of the invasive patterns that can occur in lung cancer. Dependent on the publication, this could mean:
intratumoral vascular invasion (IVI)
microscopic vascular invasion (MVI)
lymphovascular invasion (LVI)
Vascular pedicle is bordered on the right by venous structures (right brachiocephalic vein above and superior vena cava) and on the left by an arterial structure (the left subclavian artery origin). The azygos vein (black oval) is seen en face above the right main bronchus.
The vascular pedicle...
Vascular rings and slings refer to the congenital vascular encirclement of the esophagus and/or trachea by anomalous/aberrant vessels.
Vascular rings are rare, occurring in <1% of patients 1. No gender or ethnic predispositions have been identified 3.
The vena caval foramen is one of the three major apertures in the diaphragm. It is the highest of the three and situated at the level of T8-9. It is quadrilateral and placed at the junction of the right and middle leaflets of the central tendon.
It transmits several structures between the thora...
The venous drainage of the thoracic wall drains deoxygenated venous blood from the peripheries of the thoracic cage back into systemic circulation.
Anterior thoracic wall
Anterior intercostal veins
The anterior intercostal veins originate from the intercostal space just inferio...
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a form of hospital acquired pneumonia (considered the commonest form 3).
It is sometimes defined as as a pneumonia occurring more than 48 hours after patients have been intubated and received mechanical ventilation 5.
It is usually suspected when the pa...
Ventriculopleural shunting is an alternative option for the diversion of CSF and relief of hydrocephalus. In this technique, the distal catheter is placed in the pleural space. It is an alternative to a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (often considered a next most used alternative).
The vertical fissure line commences in or near the costodiaphragmatic recess and heads superomedially towards the hilum and terminates before or at the horizontal fissure. More commonly occurs on the right and may indicate partial volume loss of the lower lobe 1.
Viral bronchiolitis refers to a bronchiolitis secondary to viral etiology.
Viral infection of airways resulting in inflammation and peribronchial edema. Can then result in small airways occlusion which is the basis of hyperinflation and subsegmental atelectasis. Children more suscept...
Viral respiratory tract infection is a broad term given to pulmonary infection from various viral agents.
They can be caused by any of a large number of viral agents, including but not limited to:
H1N1 pneumonia (swine influenza)
Visceral pleural invasion is a feature that can be seen in lung cancers. It is defined as tumor extension beyond the elastic layer of the visceral pleura. It is considered an aggressive sign and one of the most important adverse prognostic factors in non-small cell lung cancers 1.
Vital capacity (commonly termed VC) is a spirometric parameter giving maximum amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs after a maximum inhalation. It is equal to the sum of inspiratory reserve volume, tidal volume, and expiratory reserve volume.
Vital capacity increases with
V/Q (ventilation/perfusion) scan is a scintigraphic examination of the lung that evaluates pulmonary vasculature perfusion and segmental bronchoalveolar tree ventilation.
diagnosis of suspected pulmonary embolism (PE)
monitor pulmonary function following lung transplant
The water bottle sign or configuration refers to the shape of the cardiac silhouette on erect frontal chest x-rays in patients who have a very large pericardial effusion. Typically the effusion has accumulated over many weeks to months (e.g. in patients with malignancy) and the pericardium has g...
The water-lily sign is seen in hydatid infections when there is detachment of the endocyst membrane which results in floating membranes within the pericyst that mimic the appearance of a water lily.
It is classically described on plain radiographs (mainly chest X-ray) when the collapsed membran...
The wave sign refers to the indentation of the normal thymus in young children by the ribs, resulting in a wavy border.
A well-differentiated fetal adenocarcinoma (WDFA) of lung is a rare low grade lung tumor. Some consider this as a variant of adenocarcinoma with others considering this under the group of pulmonary blastomas 5.
According to classification by the World Health Organization in 1999, it was remove...
The Wells criteria for pulmonary embolism is a risk stratification score and clinical decision rule to estimate the probability for acute pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients in which history and examination suggests acute PE is a diagnostic possibility. It provides a pre-test probability which, ...
Westermark sign is a sign of pulmonary embolus seen on chest radiographs. It is one of several described signs of pulmonary embolus on chest radiographs.
The theory behind the sign is either obstruction of the pulmonary artery or distal vasoconstriction in hypoxic lung 3.
In one stu...
Thoraco-pulmonary manifestations of Whipple disease are uncommon and present in the late stages of the disease.
Lung involvement is seen in 35-60% of patients with gastrointestinal whipple disease.
Majority of patients present with non-specific pulmonary an...
The WHO classification scheme for thymic epithelial tumors is one of many classifications systems for thymoma and related tumors, and classifies them according to histology:
spindle cell thymoma
type ab: mixed thymoma
type b1: lymphocyte rich
Williams-Campbell syndrome (WCS) is a rare form of congenital cystic bronchiectasis, in which distal bronchial cartilage is defective.
It is thought to result from a deficiency of cartilage formation in the 4th to 6th order segmental bronchi.
Shows cystic ...
Williams syndrome (WS) is characterized by some or all or the following features:
craniofacial dysmorphism (e.g. elfin facies)
short stature (50% of cases)
mild to moderate mental retardation
supravalvular aortic stenosis 2
pulmonary artery stenosis 3
Wilson Mikity syndrome (WMS) refers to chronic lung disease in premature infants, characterized by early development of cystic interstitial emphysema (PIE). This is now sometimes considered as part of the spectrum of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
chronic pulmonary insufficiency of prema...
Wound dehiscence is a surgical complication whereby there is rupture of a wound along the surgical scar (dehiscence, refers to "splitting open"). This may occur on the skin surface, or along a deeper suture line.
Presentation may be with pain (e.g. sternal dehiscence), or...
Xenon-127 is a radiopharmaceutical principally used when a performing VQ scan. It is not a widely used alternative to xenon-133 with the main advantage being a higher proton energy allowing for post perfusion scanning.
photon energy: 203 KeV
physical half life: 36.3 days
Xenon-133 is a radiopharmaceutical principally used when a performing VQ scan. Inhalation of this gas can also be used to assess cerebral blood flow.
photon energy: 81 KeV
physical half-life: 5.27 days
biological half-life: 30 seconds
normal distribution: lungs
<15% of inhaled gas is absorb...
The xiphisternum (also known as the xiphoid process or simply the xiphoid) is the smallest of the three parts of the sternum (manubrium, body or gladiolus and xiphisternum). It arises from the inferior and posterior margin of the sternal body and projects inferiorly. It is a small cartilaginous ...
The yellow nail syndrome (YNS) is a rare disorder principally affecting the lymphatic system.
It is characterized by a clinical triad:
nail discolouration: yellow slow-growing dystrophic nails (scleronychia)
pulmonary disease: see yellow nail syndrome (pulmona...
Pulmonary manifestations of yellow nail syndrome are principally centered around
effects for recurrent lung infections (bronchiectasis) and
The role of proposed lymphatic impairment could account for the development of pleural effusions and smooth interlobula...
Young syndrome shares similar clinical and radiological findings to primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis, however, the underlying pathogenesis is yet to be fully elucidated. Obstructive azoospermia at the level of the epididymis is thought to be the cause of infertility. The commonly r...