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Radiographics. 2002 Oct;22 Spec No:S61-78.

Fat-containing lesions of the chest.

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Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University Hospital, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5253, USA.


Although most lesions that occur in the chest have a nonspecific soft-tissue appearance, fat-containing lesions are occasionally encountered at cross-sectional computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging. The various fat-containing lesions of the chest include parenchymal and endobronchial lesions such as hamartoma, lipoid pneumonia, and lipoma. Endobronchial hamartoma usually appears at CT as a lesion with a smooth edge, focal collections of fat, or fat collections that alternate with foci of calcification. Mediastinal fat-containing lesions include germ cell neoplasms, thymolipomas, lipomas, and liposarcomas. The most frequent CT manifestation of the germ cell neoplasm teratoma is a heterogeneous mass with soft-tissue, fluid, fat, and calcium attenuation. Cardiac lesions with fat content include lipomatous hypertrophy of the interatrial septum and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. Diagnosis of the former is made with CT when a smooth, nonenhancing, well-marginated fat-containing lesion is identified in the interatrial septum. Finally, fat may herniate into the chest at several characteristic locations. When such a lesion is identified, the time required for differential diagnosis is significantly reduced, often allowing a definitive radiologic diagnosis. Sagittal and coronal reformatted images can add valuable information by showing diaphragmatic defects and hernia contents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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