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Radiology. 1988 Jan;166(1 Pt 1):81-7.

Normal and diseased isolated lungs: high-resolution CT.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco 94143-0628.


High-resolution computed tomography (CT) scans of 12 isolated, inflated, fresh lungs obtained at autopsy were compared with thin, paper-mounted lung sections obtained at the same levels. In six lungs considered intrinsically normal, high-resolution CT showed normal interlobular septa and pulmonary arteries in the lobular core, but lobular bronchioles were not visible. Edematous fluid resulted in thickening and increased visibility of interlobular septa. In three emphysematous lungs, high-resolution CT accurately demonstrated the degree of emphysema and suggested its centrilobular nature. In two lungs with honeycombing, cysts lined by fibrosis were easily seen on high-resolution CT scans. In less severely involved areas, septal thickening and intralobular fibrosis were seen on high-resolution CT scans, but small (1 mm) cysts were invisible. High-resolution CT was able to demonstrate some features of the normal secondary pulmonary lobule and structural alterations produced by various diseases.

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