This page is dedicated to covering the important radiological finding of a cavitary pulmonary lesion. Look here for more radiological findings.
WHAT IS IT?
A cavitary pulmonary lesion refers to a finding often appreciated on a chest X-ray. The term is self descriptive in the scene that these lesions will have a literal cavity in their center that can be seen radiographically. These cavities occur as a result of a process that produces necrosis at the central portion of the lesion.
DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS FOR THIS FINDING
When seeing a cavitary pulmonary lesion, it is important to keep in mind the following possible causes of this finding:
- Bronchogenic carcinoma
- Lung abscess
KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHARACTERIZING THE FINDING
When seeing a cavitary pulmonary lesion, there are a few important radiological features one should look at to try and characterize the finding. These features can help navigate the differential diagnosis above.
- Thickness of the cavity wall: both bronchogenic carcinoma and a lung abscess will have thick walls where tuberculosis will have a thin wall.
- Inner margin of the cavity: both tuberculosis and lung abscesses have smooth margins of their inner cavity, while bronchogenic carcinoma will typically have a nodular margin.
Page Updated: 01.09.2016