Typical CT Features of Intrapulmonary Lymph Nodes: A Review

A. Schreuder, C. Jacobs, E. Scholten, B. van Ginneken, C. Schaefer-Prokop and M. Prokop

Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging 2020;2:e190159.

DOI

Several studies investigated the appearance of intrapulmonary lymph nodes (IPLNs) at CT with pathologic correlation. IPLNs are benign lesions and do not require follow-up after initial detection. There are indications that IPLNs represent a considerable portion of incidentally found pulmonary nodules seen at high-resolution CT. The reliable and accurate identification of IPLNs as benign nodules may substantially reduce the number of unnecessary follow-up CT examinations. Typical CT features of IPLNs are a noncalcified solid nodule with sharp margins; a round, oval, or polygonal shape; distanced 15 mm or less from the pleura; and most being located below the level of the carina. The term perifissural nodule (PFN) was coined based on some of these characteristics. Standardization of those CT criteria are a prerequisite for accurate nodule classification. However, four different definitions of PFNs can currently be found in the literature. Furthermore, there is considerable variation in the reported interobserver agreement, malignancy rate, and prevalence of PFNs. The purpose of this review was to provide an overview of what is known about PFNs. In addition, knowledge gaps in defining PFNs will be discussed. A decision tree to guide clinicians in classifying nodules as PFNs is provided.

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