Rounded atelectasis

David Levin, Thomas Hartman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Imaging description Rounded atelectasis has four key imaging features [1–3] (Figures 26.1 and 26.2). (1) The primary finding is a rounded, mass-like region of consolidation. Air-bronchograms are a common finding within the mass and the portion closest to the hilum typically has irregular margins. (2) The focus of rounded atelectasis should abut a pleural abnormality. Most commonly this is an area of pleural thickening. Pleural calcification can be seen. (3) There is a swirl of vessels and bronchi leading into the mass; the so-called “comet-tail sign.” (4) There should be evidence of volume loss within the affected lobe commensurate to the size of the “mass.” Importance Rounded atelectasis is a relatively frequent finding and the distinction from primary malignancy is important. When all four findings listed above are present the diagnosis can be made and no further workup is necessary.

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 pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780511977701
ISBN (Print)9780521119078
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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