Alveolar microlithiasis

David Levin, Thomas Hartman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Imaging description Alveolar microlithiasis is a rare disease of unknown etiology. Histologically, it is characterized by tiny calculi (microliths) in an intra-alveolar location [1, 2]. On CT imaging, innumerable tiny (1 mm) calcified centrilobular nodules can be seen throughout the lungs (Figures 20.1–20.4). The nodules tend to cluster in a perilymphatic distribution and can be seen on CT as high attenuation along the interlobular septa, bronchovascular bundles, and in the subpleural lung [1–3] (Figures 20.1–20.3). When the nodules are too small to be clearly identified as discrete nodules, they appear as areas of ground-glass attenuation in the lungs (Figures 20.2–20.4). When there is extensive microlithiasis, the calcifications can present as areas of “calcified” consolidation (Figure 20.1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPearls and Pitfalls in Thoracic Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationVariants and Other Difficult Diagnoses
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780511977701
ISBN (Print)9780521119078
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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