Cáceres Corner Case 227 – Vignette

Dear friends, starting today I plan to show simple teaching cases (vignettes) hoping to ease the boredom of the confinement.
I will show two cases every week (Monday and Thursday). To make the presentation more agile the diagnosis will be included. If you get impatient all you have to do is press the answer button.

The first case is a routine control PA radiograph in a 67-year-old woman operated on for breast carcinoma three years ago.

Question: Do you suspect any bone metastasis?

Click here to see the answer

Findings: There is an apparent lytic lesion in the distal end of the right clavicle (A, arrow), better seen in the cone down view (B, arrow).

When I saw this case two months ago, I could not determine whether the lesion was real or not. What would you do?
1. Compare with previous films
2. Call the oncologist
4. Bone scintigraphy

Click here to see the answer

In my opinion, the first thing to do was comparing with previous films although
this brilliant idea was hampered by the technician placing the marker in top of the distal clavicle in two earlier radiographs (C-D).

What would you do now?
1. Bone scintigraphy
2. Call the oncologist
4. CT

Click here to see the answer

Since I was not sure about the lesion, I decided to call the oncologist to find out if she suspected any metastasis and if the patient had any pain in the right acromioclavicular area. The answer was negative. What would you recommend?

1. Bone scintigraphy
2. CT
4. Radiograph of the right clavicle

click here to see the answer

In my opinion the fastest way to clarify the diagnosis was to take a radiograph of both clavicles (with the left for comparison). The distal end of the right clavicle has a normal appearance and , since the patient had no local symptoms, no further studies were needed.

Final diagnosis: normal variant simulating pathology in an oncologic patient

I have seen several chest radiographs with apparent lytic lesion of the distal clavicle that turned out to be normal. It is described in the Atlas of normal variants by Keats. In this case I was doubtful because the patient had a carcinoma and the appearance of the lesion was ominous.
There are two teaching points in this case:
1. Talking to the referring physician is important to determine the management of findings.
2. A simple and inexpensive procedure clarified the diagnosis and avoided unnecessary additional studies.

Emergency #20 – Flashcard

14-year-old boy:
– Actue pain left hemiscrotum

What is the most likely diagnosis?

Click here to see the answer

Acute torsion testis

– Less/no vascularisation – flow with color Doppler-affected testicle
– Lower echogenicity or heterogeneous aspect testicle, if too late already hypoechoic infarcts
– Testicle displaced cranially in the scrotum
– Twisted spermatic cord “like a knot”
– Reactive hydrocele

Below you can see images from a companion case:

Cáceres’ Corner Case 226 – SOLVED

Dear Friends,

Today’s radiographs belong to a 27-year-old woman who came for a routine check-up.

Most likely diagnosis:

1. Thymic tumor
2. Enlarged lymph nodes
3. Aortic arch malformation
4. None of the above

CT images will be shown next Wednesday.

Click here to see the first images

Dear Friends,

Today I am showing enhanced CT images of the mediastinum in the early (A-B) and late phases (C-E).
What do you think?

Click here to see more images

Click here to see the answer

Findings: PA chest radiograph shows a right upper mediastinal mass with undulated border (A, arrow). There is increased opacity of the anterior clear space in the lateral view (B, circle). In my opinion, the most likely diagnosis would be thymic tumor, although the undulated border favors enlarged lymph nodes.

Enhanced axial CTs in the arterial phase show an anterior mediastinal mass with minimal enhancement (C-D, arrows) and a vascular space in the center (C, yellow arrow).

Coronal and axial CTs in the late phase show partial washout of the vascular space (E, yellow arrow). The clue to the diagnosis lies in the presence of several punctate calcifications within the mass (F-G, red arrows) consistent with phleboliths, which are practically diagnostic of hemangioma. The central vascular space also supports the diagnosis.

The patient had been diagnosed of mediastinal hemangioma two years earlier and comparison with previous chest films and CTs did not show any change.
Final diagnosis: Mediastinal hemangioma
Congratulations to Naegleria and MK who gave similar diagnosis both at exactly 12:55 P.M.
Teaching point: This case is unusual (I have seen only two of them in the mediastinum) but can be easily diagnosed if phleboliths are present (and recognized). Early in my residency I learned that, when finding phleboliths within a mass, the diagnosis should be hemangioma until proven otherwise.
Ref. HP McAdams, ML Rosado de Christenson, CA Moran. Mediastinal hemangioma: radiographic and CT features in 14 patients. Radiology 1994; 193:399-402

Cáceres’ Corner Case 225 – SOLVED

Dear Friends,

Today’s radiographs belong to a 37-year-old man with moderate fever.
What do you think?

Come back on Friday to see the answer!

Click here to see the answer

Findings: Chest radiographs show an intrapulmonary rounded opacity with ill-defined borders in the left lung (A-B, arrows). In a patient with fever and no other significant symptoms, the most likely diagnosis should be rounded pneumonia, although I was somewhat concerned about the good definition of the lower contour in the lateral view (B, red arrows), which is unusual in pneumonia.

The patient improved with treatment and follow-up radiographs four weeks later show only minimal residual findings in the PA view (C, arrow).

Final diagnosis: rounded pneumonia simulating a pulmonary mass.

Congratulations to Ahmad, who was the first to give the correct diagnosis. Silver medal to Sara Mercado/span>, who arrived second three hours later.

Teaching point: remember that not all pulmonary nodules/masses are malignant. If you want to know more about them, look up Diploma #51 “Innocuous pulmonary nodules”

Musculoskeletal #9 – Flashcard

12-year-old boy, asymptomatic:

Radiograph a

Radiograph b

What do you see?

Lytic lesion on distal fibular metaphysis with well-defined sclerotic borders is seen on both anteroposterior (a) and oblique (b) radiographs

What do you see?

NOF: non ossifying fibroma

– Most common fibrous bone lesion
– Same as fibrous cortical defect but larger version
– If large enough, may cause pathological fractures
– One of DON’T TOUCH lesions

Cáceres’ Corner Case 223 – SOLVED

Today’s radiographs belong to a 77-year-old man with dyspnea.


1.  Allergic aspergillosis
2.  A-V malformations
3.  Chronic changes post-TB
4.  None of the above

What do you see? Come back on Friday to see the answer 🙂

Click here to see the answer

Findings: PA chest radiographs shows elongated opacities apparently arising from the hila (A, arrows). The lack of branching goes against mucous impactions. The clue to the diagnosis lies in the calcified pleural plaque in the right hemidiaphragm (A, red arrow), which is a sign that strongly suggests asbestos exposure.
This diagnosis is corroborated by the lateral view, which shows calcified pleural plaques in the anterior clear space (B, red arrow).

Previous AP and oblique rib radiographs after chest trauma show the undulated calcified plaque in the right hemithorax (C-D, arrows).

Unenhanced coronal CT confirms the plaque in the right hemidiaphragm (E, arrow). Axial CTs demonstrate the anterior plaques (F-G, red arrows), as well as the unaffected lung (F).

Final diagnosis: calcified pleural plaques simulating pulmonary disease.
Congratulations to Phi Pham, who was the first to make the correct diagnosis.
Teaching point: Remember that superimposed opacities may simulate intrapulmonary pathology.