Clinical and imaging features in lung torsion and description of a novel imaging sign.
Emerg Radiol. 2018 Apr;25(2):121-127. doi: 10.1007/s10140-017-1563-x. Epub 2017 Oct 13.
Hammer MM1, Madan R2.
PURPOSE: We set out to identify the clinical and imaging features seen in lung torsion, a rare but emergent diagnosis leading to vascular compromise of a lobe or entire lung.
METHODS: We retrospectively identified 10 patients with torsion who underwent chest CT. We evaluated each case for the presence of bronchial obstruction and abnormal fissure orientation. In seven patients who underwent contrast-enhanced CTs, we assessed for the presence of the antler sign, a novel sign seen on axial images demonstrating abnormal curvature of the artery and branches originating on one side.
RESULTS: Five patients had right middle lobe (RML) torsion after right upper lobectomy, and the remaining occurred following thoracentesis, aortic surgery, or spontaneously. Chest CTs demonstrated bronchial obstruction in eight cases and presence of abnormal fissure orientation in four patients. The antler sign was present in three patients with whole-lung torsion and one patient with lobar torsion; vascular swirling was seen on 3-D images in all seven patients with contrast-enhanced CTs.
CONCLUSIONS: Lung parenchymal imaging findings in lung torsion may be non-specific. Identification of the antler sign on contrast-enhanced chest CT, in combination with other signs such as bronchial obstruction and abnormal fissure orientation, indicates rotation of the bronchovascular pedicle. The presence of this sign should prompt further evaluation with 3-dimensional reconstructions.