pulmonary cavities

Pulmonary cavities are thick-walled abnormal gas-filled spaces within the lung. They are usually associated with a nodule, mass, or area of consolidation. A fluid level within the space may be present. Plain radiography and CT form the mainstay of imaging.

Terminology

According to the Fleischner Society, pulmonary cavities are defined as "a gas-filled space, seen as a lucency or low-attenuation area, within pulmonary consolidation, a mass, or a nodule" .

Pathology

The cause of pulmonary cavities is broad. They may develop as a chronic complication of a pulmonary cyst or secondary to cystic degeneration of a pulmonary mass. They may enlarge or involute over time.

Etiology

Pulmonary cavities may be the result of malignancy, infection, inflammation, or be congenital:

A helpful mnemonic is CAVITY.

See also