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A systematic approach to interpretation of heterogeneous lung attenuation on CT of the chest

Anjali Agrawal, Anurag Agrawal, Vishal Bansal, Meenakshi Pandit

Thin section CT images of a 35 year old male

Thin-section CT images of a 35-year-old male with known asthma and shortness of breath.

Computed tomography (CT) chest is widely used as an adjunct to clinical examination and pulmonary function tests in the evaluation of unexplained dyspnoea. In such patients, heterogeneous lung attenuation is a common finding on CT. Heterogeneous lungs can be caused by varying regional aeration, varying regional perfusion, and ground glass opacities (GGO) representing airspace or interstitial pathology. It does not serve the referring clinicians or the patients well if the radiology report simply mentions the heterogeneity of the lungs without due analysis of the cause of heterogeneity and a meaningful differential diagnosis.

Agrawal A, Agrawal A, Bansal V, Pandit M. A systematic approach to interpretation of heterogeneous lung attenuation on computed tomography of the chest. Lung India 2013;30:327-34

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