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Acta Radiol. 2012 Mar 1;53(2):161-7. doi: 10.1258/ar.2011.110467. Epub 2012 Jan 19.

Pulmonary lymphatic drainage to the mediastinum based on computed tomographic observations of the primary complex of pulmonary histoplasmosis.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Asahikawa Medical University and Hospital, Japan. taka1019@asahikawa-med.ac.jp



In the primary infection of pulmonary histoplasmosis, pulmonary lesions are commonly solitary and associated with hilar and/or mediastinal nodal diseases, which spontaneously resolve, resulting in calcifications in individuals with normal cellular immunity.


To assess the lymphatic drainage to the mediastinum from each pulmonary segment and lobe using computed tomographic (CT) observations of a calcified primary complex pulmonary histoplasmosis and predict which patients with N2 disease that would benefit from surgery.


We collected 585 CT studies of patients with primary complex histoplasmosis consisting of solitary calcified pulmonary lesions and calcified hilar and/or mediastinal nodal disease. Using the N stage criteria of non-small cell lung cancer, we assessed the distribution of the involved hilar and mediastinal nodes depending on the pulmonary segment of the lesion, with a focus on skip involvement. We also assessed the correlation between the incidence of N1 and skip N2 involvement and the mean number of involved mediastinal nodal stations in the non-skip N2 and skip N2 groups.


Skip involvement was common in the apical segment (9/45, 20.0%), posterior segment (7/31, 22.6%), and mediolbasal segment (13/20, 65.0%) in the right lung, and in the apicoposterior segment (7/55, 12.7%), lateral basal segment (6/26, 23.1%), and posterobasal segment (16/47, 34.0%) in the left lung. The incidence of skip involvement in each segment showed a significant inverse correlation with that of N1 involvement (r = -0.51, P <0.05) in both lungs. The mean number of involved mediastinal nodal stations in the non-skip N2 and skip N2 groups in all segments of both lungs were 1.4 (434/301) and 1.2 (93/77), and the former was significantly greater than the latter (P <0.01).


Our data showed a predictable pattern of segmental and lobar lymphatic drainage to the mediastinum and suggested that skip involvement could represent the initial mediastinal node involvement via direct lymphatic drainage.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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