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Asbestos-related Focal Lung Masses: Manifestations On Conventional And High-resolution CT Scans.

D. Lynch, G. Gamsu, C. S. Ray, D. Aberle
Published 1988 · Medicine

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In 260 asbestos-exposed individuals evaluated by means of computed tomography (CT), 43 unsuspected pulmonary masses were found in 27 individuals. The masses included fissural pleural plaques (n = 10), dense fibrotic bands (n = 3), round atelectasis (n = 11), carcinomas (n = 3), and other presumed benign masses (n = 16). The most helpful features in the diagnosis of rounded atelectasis with CT were (a) contiguity to areas of diffuse pleural thickening, (b) a lentiform or wedge-shaped outline, (c) evidence of volume loss in the adjacent lung, and (d) a characteristic "comet tail" of vessels and bronchi sweeping into the margins of the mass. Less advanced areas of focal atelectasis had fewer classic features. Intrafissural pleural plaques were readily identified with high-resolution CT. In asbestos-related masses, the demonstration of stability over time is necessary. Careful interpretation of CT and high-resolution CT features and close surveillance can obviate the need for biopsy in the majority of instances.



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