Storage disorders comprise a bewildering collection of inherited metabolic conditions which share the accumulation of a metabolite within various cells in the body due to dysfunction of specific enzymes or transport proteins. Accumulation of metabolites eventually results in cellular and/or orga...
Brain ischemia/infarction in children and young adults can result from several causes.
cyanotic heart disease
mitral valve prolapse
Subacromial impingement is by far the most common form of shoulder impingement and occurs secondary to attrition between the coracoacromial arch and the supraspinatus tendon or subacromial bursa.
type III acromion
acromioclavicular degenerative disease
There are a wide range of causes for subarachnoid FLAIR hyperintensity, both pathological and artifactual.
FLAIR vascular hyperintensities in acute stroke 1,4,8
A subcutaneous abscess is a manifestation of a spectrum of soft tissue skin infection which includes cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis. It is a form of abscess which lies within the dermis and subdermal cutaneous layers. Along with dental abscesses, subcutaneous abscesses are the most common ...
Subcutaneous calcification can be associated with a number of disorders. The list includes:
basal cell nevus syndrome
as a manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus
Subdiaphragmatic free gas is one of the ways of detecting presence of free intraperitoneal gas (i.e. pneumoperitoneum). It is the presence of free, extraluminal gas in the anterior subhepatic space.
Subdiaphragmatic free gas is well appreciated as the g...
Subluxed facet joint is the mildest form of facet dislocation in which the ligamentous injury leads to partial uncovering of facet joint (c.f. complete uncovering in perched facet). This results in mild anterior displacement of one vertebral body on another (anterolisthesis).
Subperiosteal bone resorption is the most consistent and specific finding of hyperparathyroidism and is virtually pathognomonic of the condition.
While the terminal tufts of the phalanges are the most commonly involved bones, many others are involved:
tufts of the distal...
Subpulmonic effusions are a pleural effusion that can be seen only on an erect projection. Rather than layering laterally and blunting the costophrenic angle, the pleural fluid lies almost exclusively between the lung base and the diaphragm.
The fluid ca...
Subsegmental atelectasis is a descriptive term for a minor peripheral form of lung atelectasis.
Some authors also term it discoid atelectasis or plate-like atelectasis due to its appearance.
It is usually due to a lack of adequate inspiration, and not due to any underly...
Substernal goiter is a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) with intrathoracic extension.
It remains unclear which goitres are to be termed substernal, but a recently proposed definition is a goiter that requires mediastinal exploration and dissection for complete removal or an intrathoracic compone...
Sunburst appearance is a type of periosteal reaction giving the appearance of a sunburst secondary to an aggressive periostitis. It should not be confused with the sunburst sign of meningioma vascularity.
The sunburst appearance occurs when the lesion grows too fast and the periosteum does not...
Superficial siderosis is a rare condition which results from the deposition of hemosiderin along the leptomeninges, with eventual neurological dysfunction.
On imaging, it is classically characterized on MRI as a rim of low signal coating the surface of the brain or spinal cord, particularly not...
Superficial thrombophlebitis, also called superficial venous thrombosis (SVT), is a pathological condition characterized by the presence of a thrombus in the lumen of a superficial vein, accompanied by inflammatory reaction of adjacent tissues.
Some authors however reserve the term...
Supernumerary ribs occur most commonly as a cervical rib or arising from the lumbar vertebra. In extremely rare situations, there can be sacral, coccygeal, intrathoracic, or aberrant lumbar ribs 3.
trisomy 8 syndrome
Superscan is intense symmetric activity in the bones with diminished renal and soft tissue activity on a Tc99m diphosphonate bone scan.
This appearance can result from a range of etiological factors:
diffuse metastatic disease
transitional cell carcinoma (T...
The differential for suprasellar cystic lesions is large and predominantly includes developmental and neoplastic conditions.
Rathke's cleft cyst
enlarged perivascular spaces...
A surgical sieve is an approach to differential diagnosis that prompts the user to consider various types of pathologies systematically. Various versions of this mnemonic exist:
NAIVE MD DICTionary
Where "3-Scotland" rel...
Suspicious breast calcifications are calcifications within the breast that are not benign. These calcification need further work up and biopsy.
The BI-RADS lexicon includes four descriptors of suspicious calcification morphology on mammography:
Swan neck deformity is a deformity of the digits that consists of:
hyperextension of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints
compensatory flexion of the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints
Swan neck deformity is seen in 3,4:
rheumatoid arthritis (classical association)
There are a large number of causes for a symmetrical periosteal reaction 1,2:
chronic venous insufficiency
physiologic periostitis, most common cause before 6 months old
juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Synchronous primary lung carcinoma (SPLC) is a term given to the occurrence of two or more primary lung carcinomas within different portions of the lung in the same time period.
They are thought to the carry the same pathophysiological mechanism as metachronous lung carcinoma (i.e. two or more ...
Syndactyly refers to a congenital fusion of two or more digits. It may be confined to soft tissue (soft tissue syndactyly / simple syndactyly) or may involve bone (bony syndactyly / complex syndactyly).
The overall estimated incidence is at ~1 per 2,500 to 5,000 live births 6,8. T...
Syndesmophytes are calcifications or heterotopic ossifications inside a spinal ligament or of the annulus fibrosus. They are seen in only a limited number of conditions including:
They can be classified as...
Syringobulbia is a rare entity and refers to a syrinx that extends into the medulla oblongata 1.
Some authors use syringobulbia to refer to a syrinx present in any portion of the brainstem rather than specifically involving the medulla oblongata, and therefore encompassing syringop...
Syrinx is the collective name given to hydromyelia, syringomyelia, syringobulbia, syringopontia, syringomesencephaly, and syringocephalus.
The use of the general term 'syrinx' has grown out of the difficulty in distinguishing between hydromyelia and syringomyelia using current imag...
Thoracic manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus can be variable.
For a general discussion, and for links to other system specific manifestations, please refer to the article on systemic lupus erythematosus.
pleuritis: considered one of the c...
There are many types of talar dislocation given its multiple articulations:
total talar dislocation
Talar fractures are an uncommon injury, accounting for <5% of all foot fractures. Recognition of the unique talar anatomy is important for correct diagnosis.
talar head fractures
talar neck fractures
talar body fractures
talar dome osteochondral fracture
Tauopathies are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by abnormal metabolism of tau proteins leading to intracellular accumulation and formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). These neurofibrillary tangles are deposited in the cytosol of neurons and glial cells.
Telecanthus represents increased intercanthal distance. It is often used interchangeably with hypertelorism, referring to increased distance between the eyes.
Causes and associations
trauma: naso-orbito-ethmoidal (NOE) fractures
sinus and orbital tumors
Destructive lesions of the temporal bone (petrous pyramid, middle ear and antrum) have a relatively broad differential including 1:
lesions affecting petrous pyramid
neuroma of trigeminal and facial nerve
glomus jugulare tumor
epidermoid of ...
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) effusions are unusual in asymptomatic patients, and thus should trigger a careful search for underlying pathology. It usually precedes osteoarthritis of the TMJ. Effusions are seen in:
rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Tension pneumothoraces occur when intrapleural air accumulates progressively in such a way as to exert positive pressure on mediastinal and intrathoracic structures. It is a life-threatening occurrence requiring both rapid recognition and prompt treatment to avoid a cardiorespiratory arrest.
The differential diagnosis for a terminal ileitis is quite extensive, and includes:
inflammatory bowel disease
Crohn disease (most common)
backwash ileitis due to ulcerative colitis
There is only a short list of terminal tuft masses, which can arise from the adjacent soft tissues and erode the terminal tuft as well as arising from the terminal tuft itself:
epidermal inclusion cyst: history of penetrating trauma
tenosynovial giant cell tumor: occur laterally
The terminal zones of myelination are located at the posterior aspect of the lateral ventricles (the peritrigonal regions) and are the only part of the cerebral white matter that may exhibit high T2 signal in a normal brain at 2 years of age, when myelination of cerebral white matter normally be...
Testicular cancers are the most common neoplasm in men between the ages of 20 and 34 years.
Testicular cancer is uncommon, accounting for less than 1% of all internal organ malignancies 2.
The demographics of affected individuals depends on the age of the histology of the tumor. ...
Testicular microlithiasis (TM) is a relatively common condition that represents the deposition of multiple tiny calcifications throughout both testes.
The most common criterion for diagnosis is that of five microcalcifications in one testicle, although definitions have varied in the past. In t...
Testicular trauma is the third most-common cause of acute scrotal pain and may result in various degree of damage to the testes.
Testicular rupture and testicular ischemia/infarct are two severe complications which need to be ruled out. Other injuries that can occur include 1:
The four "Ds" of radiology reporting are the basic sequential tasks that a radiologist performs when reporting/reading a case, whether it be in training, the exam environment or in day-to-day clinical practice.
The 4 "Ds"
Diagnosis or differential diagnoses
There are a number of causes and mimics of thoracic aortic dilatation.
post-stenotic dilatation, e.g. bicuspid aortic valve
thoracic aortic aneurysm
atherosclerosis (usually descending thoracic aorta)
The differential for thoracic aortic stenosis includes:
aortitis (especially Takayasu arteritis)
Williams syndrome: supravalvular aortic stenosis
congenital rubella syndrome: supravalvular aortic stenosis
Thoracoliths are rare, calcified pleural-based nodules that are almost always incidental findings. They are usually considered mobile, and more common on the left.
The exact etiology is unknown and theories include 1,2:
calcified fibrin body
degenerated pleural lipoma
Threatened miscarriage (or threatened abortion) is mainly a clinical term, used when a pregnant woman in first 20 weeks of gestation presents with spotting, mild abdominal pain and contractions, with a closed cervical os.
It occurs in 20-25% of pregnancies and is associated with ...
A number of inflammatory conditions can affect the thyroid gland, which are commonly described as thyroiditides:
acute suppurative thyroiditis (AST)
subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis: silent thyroiditis or painless subacute thyroiditis
Thyroid malignancies are most commonly primary thyroid cancers but can rarely be metastatic deposits.
Thyroid malignancies can be categorized into the following key subtypes:
primary thyroid cancers
papillary thyroid carcinoma: 60-80% of carcinomas
Tibiotalar slant is the superolateral inclination of the tibial plafond, and results in an ankle valgus deformity. There are a number of causes 1:
trauma, i.e. distal tibial fractures
osteomyelitis and/or septic arthritis
juvenile idiopathic arthritis
sickle cell dis...
Tonsillar herniation is a type of cerebral herniation characterized by the inferior descent of the cerebellar tonsils below the foramen magnum. Clinically the presence of tonsillar herniation is often called coning.
The terminology of caudally displaced tonsils is discussed in the article on ce...
Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of any of the tonsils and is one of the most common head and neck infections in adolescents and young adults.
Patients may present with a variety of symptoms including painful throat (may be unilateral), dysphagia, fevers, tender cervica...
Torticollis (wryneck) is a clinical finding of head tilt with or without rotational spinal malalignment. It is not a diagnosis in itself and there are a wide range of underlying conditions. It is most common in the pediatric age group.
Torticollis can be acute (<1 week) or chronic (...
Total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total hip replacement (THR) is an orthopedic procedure which involves the surgical excision of the femoral head and cartilage of the acetabulum and replacement of the joint with articulating femoral and acetabular components. It is a commonly performed procedure u...
Toxoplasmosis and lymphoma are frequently differential diagnoses in patients with HIV/AIDS and as treatment is substantially different distinguishing the two is important.
In many instances, the imaging appearance is classic and differentiation is not problematic; however, in 50-80% of cases, ...
Primary tracheal and endobronchial lesions are generally rare and can be either malignant or benign. The majority of these lesions are malignant.
primary malignant endobronchial lesions
squamous cell carcinoma: commonest malignant lesion in tr...
Tracheal buckling is a normal finding in young infants when it is more flexible. There is typically deviation of the trachea anteriorly and to the right (up to 90°) and any other configuration (i.e. to the left or posteriorly) should raise the possibility of underlying pathology.
The differential for tracheal masses can be rather wide.
For a single mass consider:
direct invasion from adjacent organ (lung, thyroid, esophagus and larynx)
distant metastasis (e.g. melanoma, breast, renal and colon cancer)
squamous cell carcinoma: commone...
Tracheal wall thickening may have several causes. For diagnostic purposes, tracheal thickening may be categorized by length of airway involvement in order to narrow the differential diagnoses. Note that some etiologies may be associated with either focal or diffuse pattern of involvement.
Tracheomalacia, or sometimes described as tracheobronchomalacia, is a common incidental finding on imaging of the chest of older patients and manifests as an increase in tracheal diameter as well as a tendency to collapse on expiration. Generally, more than 70% collapse of the trachea during exp...
Traction bronchiectasis refers to an etiological sub type of bronchiectasis where there is irreversible dilatation of bronchi and bronchioles within areas of pulmonary fibrosis or distorted lung parenchymal architecture.
It can arise from a number of underlying causes which result in...
Transalar (transsphenoidal) herniation describes herniation of brain matter in and around the middle cranial fossa across the greater sphenoid wing and can be ascending or descending. Compression of structures against the sphenoid bone results in symptoms.
Transalar herniation is not...
Transependymal edema, also known as interstitial cerebral edema, is a type of cerebral edema that occurs with increased pressure within the cerebral ventricles. FLAIR is the most sensitive MRI sequence for detection.
The ventricular ependymal lining is eventually disrupted, allowing ...
Transient hepatic attenuation differences (THAD) lesions refer to areas of parenchymal enhancement visible during the hepatic artery phase on helical CT. They are thought to be a physiological phenomenon caused by the dual hepatic blood supply. Occasionally they may be associated with hepatic tu...
Transtentorial herniation is a type of cerebral herniation. There are two types:
descending transtentorial herniation, more frequently known as uncal herniation
ascending transtentorial herniation, which is less common than uncal herniation
Trapped lung, also known as unexpandable/unexpanded lung, is a term used where there is non-expandable lung after fluid removal, often thoracentesis. It is similar to but not entirely synonymous with the term lung entrapment, which is a similar condition caused by active pleural disease rather t...
Trauma is a leading cause of mortality in pregnancy. Pregnancy increases the incidence and severity of abdominal trauma in females.
Trauma affects up to 7% of pregnancies, and the incidence of pregnancy in level 1 trauma patients is estimated to be ~2% 1.
Traumatic spinal cord injury can manifest as a wide variety of clinical syndromes resulting from damage to the spinal cord or its surrounding structures. It can result from minor injury if the spine is weakened from disease such as ankylosing spondylitis or if there is pre-existing spinal stenos...
Triphalangeal thumb is considered a form of pre-axial polydactyly.
Triphalangeal thumbs have an incidence of 1 in 25,000 7.
A triphalangeal thumb, as the name implies, has three phalanges instead of the usual two. There is an autosomal dominant genetic transmission 8....
Troponin is a protein of key importance in the functioning of skeletal and cardiac muscle. It forms part of the contractile mechanism, and comprises three main subunits: troponin C, troponin I, and troponin T.
Elevation of serum troponin can occur from a number of causes an...
Tuberculosis of the central nervous system can result from either haematogenous spread from distant systemic infection (e.g. pulmonary tuberculosis) or direct extension from local infection (e.g. tuberculous otomastoiditis).
Intracranial manifestations of tuberculosis are protean and can affect...
Tuberculous adrenalitis is the result of adrenal mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) infection. Its incidence has decreased in the western world with the declining incidence of tuberculosis.
As the tuberculous infection causes destruction of the adrenal cortex, primary adrenal insufficie...
Tubulinopathy refers to a wide spectrum of cortical malformations that result from defects in genes encoding the tubulin protein that regulates neuronal migration during brain development.
Some series report a high prevalence of seizures during infancy which may the initi...
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:
Tumors of the male urethra are uncommon. They can be categorized both on the grounds of histology and location.
squamous cell carcinoma of the urethra: 80%
urothelial/transitional cell carcinoma of the urethra: 15% (predominantly posterior urethra)
adenocarcinoma of the urethra: 5%...
The small intestine is rarely the site of malignant tumors, although it accounts for ~75% of the entire length of the GI tract and more than 90% of the mucosal surface. Approximately 40 different histologic tumor types have been described.
In this article, an overview will be given of the most...
Tumors that metastasize to bone may be remembered using the mnemonic "lead kettle" spelled PBKTL (lead is Pb on the Periodic Table).
For females, breast and lung are the most common primary sites; nearly 80% of cancers th...
Twin pregnancies are the most common multifetal pregnancies.
Multifetal pregnancies account for ~ 1% of all pregnancies but are seen in much higher numbers in populations where in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a common practice, most of which are twin pregnancies.
Ulnar variance (also known as Hulten variance) refers to the relative lengths of the distal articular surfaces of the radius and ulna.
Ulnar variance may be:
neutral (both the ulnar and radial articular surfaces at the same level)
positive (ulna projects more distally)
negative (ulna projec...
Ultrasound appearance of liver metastases can have bewildering variation, and the presence of hepatic steatosis can affect the sonographic appearance of liver lesions.
Patterns do exist between ultrasound appearance of the liver metastases and the likely prima...
Umbilical cord cysts can refer to any cystic lesion associated with the umbilical cord. They can be single (commoner) or multiple.
They may be seen in ~3% of pregnancies in the first trimester 8.
Umbilical cord cysts can represent either true or false cysts:
Unilateral axillary lymphadenopathy while being more concerning than bilateral axillary lymphadenopathy can still arise from a various benign as well as malignant causes.
other regional infective causes
ipsilateral arm infection, e.g. cellulitis
Unilateral facet dislocation is a relatively stable type of facet dislocation.
Flexion/distraction associated with rotation. The inferior articular facet of vertebral above moves over the superior facet of the vertebral below and becomes locked. It usually affects C4-C5 or...
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...
The differential diagnosis for unilateral testicular lesions is wide-ranging.
seminoma (40-50% of testicular malignancies)
non-seminomatous germ cell tumors:
testicular epidermoid (teratoma with ectodermal elements only)
An upper gastrointestinal bleed usually refers to bleeding proximal to the ligament of Treitz.
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...
There are numerous causes of urinary bladder diverticula:
Primary (congenital or idiopathic)
Hutch diverticulum (in paraureteral region)
bladder outlet obstruction
bladder neck stenosis
posterior urethral valve
prostatic enlargement (hypertrophy; carcinoma)
Bladder diverticulum are outpouchings from the bladder wall, whereby mucosa herniates through the bladder wall. They may be solitary or multiple in nature and can vary considerably in size.
There are two peaks - one at 10 years and the other at 60-70 years 2.
Causes of urinary bladder wall or lumen calcification include:
schistosomiasis of the urinary tract
calculus in a urachal cyst or in a bladder divertic...
Urinary diversion is created after the removal of the urinary bladder (radical cystectomy or cystoprostatectomy, usually done to treat invasive bladder cancer).
There are three main varieties:
neobladder formed from a segment of ileum (i.e. ileal conduit, also known as a "Bricker conduit")
Uterine enlargement can occur in a number of situations from both diffuse and focal processes. These include:
gestation related events
normal intrauterine pregnancy
molar pregnancy - gestational trophoblastic disease
postpartum uterus - still larger than usual
The terms valgus and varus refer to angulation (or bowing) within the shaft of a bone or at a joint.
It is determined by the distal part being more medial or lateral than it should be. Whenever the distal part is more lateral, it is called valgus. Whenever the distal part is more medial, it is ...
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...