Imaging the Lungs

Kate Harrington, MB BCh BAO, MRCPI, FFR RCSI, Emily Aherne, MB BCh BAO, BMedSci, MRCPI, FFR RCSI, Andrew J. Plodkowski, MD, Michelle S. Ginsberg, MD

Key Points

  • Rapid advances in imaging techniques of the lungs allows more accurate and comprehensive initial identification, assessment and characterization of lung lesions in order to guide surgical management and monitor treatment response.
  • The chest radiograph (CXR) is still the most common initial imaging technique for evaluation of the chest. However, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and fluorodeoxyglucose–positron emission tomography combined with CT (FDG-PET/CT) have become increasingly important.
  • CT is the imaging method of choice for evaluation of pulmonary embolism. High-resolution CT provides significant diagnostic information in diffuse infiltrative lung disease.
  • Combined FDG-PET/CT has a major role for local and distant staging of lung cancer.

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Last updated: November 16, 2022