Musculoskeletal #20

72-year-old alcoholic patient with intractable dorsal pain and legs numbness and weakness.

What do you see?

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IMAGING FINDINGS:

Thoracic spine compression fracture with posterior displacement of the posterior wall of the vertebral body compromising the spinal canal, cord compression and associated myelopathy. T2W image shows fluid and hypointense bubble-like artifact consistent with vacuum cleft in the collapsed anterior vertebral body

DIAGNOSIS:

Kümmel disease (osteonecrosis and collapse of the vertebral body)

TEACHING POINTS:

Intravertebral vacuum cleft and fluid within the collapsed vertebral body is a characteristic feature
Differential diagnosis includes a pathologic (tumoral) fracture, and the presence of air strongly favors osteonecrosis

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MR T2-weighted and CT images to highlight the characteristic features of Kümmel disease

Intravertebral fluid seen on T2 image and air on CT image

Neuroradiology #28

A 24-year-old female patient with headache. What do you see?

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Multinodular and vacuolating neuronal tumor (MVNT): Cortical ribbon-juxtacortical T2 hyperintense (a-b) round to oval nodular lesions, not suppressed on FLAIR images (c) and usually no enhancement (d) may show fair enhancement rarely, without diffusion restriction (not shown)

Musculoskeletal #17 – Long Case

2-year-old girl, referring to emergency department after a fall.

What do you see?

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– An expansile lytic lesion with ill-defined margins (green arrow) is seen on the diaphysis of fibula.

– Lamellated periosteal reaction (red arrow) suggests an aggressive lesion.

Differential diagnosis of an aggressive lytic lesion in a 2-year-old child includes:
– Osteomyelitis
– Ewing’s sarcoma
– Langerhans cell histiocytosis
– Leukemia/lymphoma

What should be done next?

An MRI scan

Intramedullary hyperintense lesion with extensive surrounding soft tissue and bone marrow edema on coronal STIR image (a) is seen. The lesion is hypointense on T1 WI (b).

Cortical destruction is shown on axial PD image (arrow in c).

Postcontrast coronal (a) and axial fat-suppressed (b) T1-weighted images show extensive enhancement in the lesion and the surrounding soft tissue

Histopathologic examination revealed Langerhans cell histiocytosis.

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH)

– LCH is characterised by idiopathic infiltration and accumulation of abnormal histiocytes within various tissues.

– Bone is the most commonly affected tissue in children, with a predilection for axial bones, and femur is the most commonly affected long bone.

– Radiographic appearance of the lesions depends on the site of involvement and the phase of the disease.

Skull: Calvarium is more affected than the skull base, typically seen as single or multiple well-defined lytic lesions on radiography; T1 hypointense, T2 hyperintense with significant enhancement on MRI. Temporal bone is the most common affected part of skull base seen as destructive lesions with a soft tissue component.
Spine: Vertebral bodies are affected with relative sparing of posterior elements. A typical vertebra plana appearance may be encountered with total collapse.
Long bones: Ill-defined lytic lesions with/without cortical destruction are seen usually located at diaphysis or metaphysis. Periosteal reaction may be present. Extensive bone marrow and soft tissue signal changes on MRI may also be helpful in the diagnosis.

Emergency #26 – Flashcard

A 30-year-old female with right shoulder pain.

4 images of the right shoulder were obtained (axillar, Y-view, internal rotation, external rotation)

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Y-view

Internal rotation
External rotation
Findings:

Findings


Right shoulder: There is a nondisplaced fracture involving the inferior aspect of the glenoid, with involvement of the articular surface. Glenohumeral joint shows normal alignment. Acromioclavicular joint is normal. No soft-tissue calcification. No fracture or dislocation

What is the most likely diagnosis?

The most likely diagnosis is Hill-Sachs lesion

Hill-Sachs lesions are a posterolateral humeral head compression fracture. Typically occurs secondary to recurrent anterior shoulder dislocations. It is often associated with a Bankart lesion of the glenoid

Internal Rotation
External Rotation

These lesions are best seen following relocation of the joint. It appears as a sclerotic line running vertically from the top of the humeral head towards the shaft. A wedge defect may be evident in large lesions. The lesions are better appreciated on internal rotation views

Dr. Pepe’s Diploma Casebook 161 – Meet the examiner

Dear Friends,

This week’s case follows the pattern of a “Meet the Examiner” presentation, with questions and answers similar to a real examination. Take your time before scrolling down for the answer.

The images belong to a 60-year-old man with moderate cough and dyspnea

What would you recommend?

1. Compare with previous films
2. Chest CT
3. PET-CT
4. None of the above

Click here to see the answer

Findings: PA radiograph shows large bullae in both upper lobes. There is a nodule in the RUL projected over one bulla (A, arrow). Two small calcified granulomas are visible in the periphery of the LUL (A, circle). PA film taken five years earlier (B) does not show any nodule in the RUL. The granulomas in the LUL are unchanged.

Report of the chest : bullous emphysema with a nodule not visible in 2014. Given the relationship between bullous disease and carcinoma, it is imperative to do a chest CT.

Enhanced CT was done the next day. What would you suggest?

1. Antibiotic treatment and CXR in one month
2. PET-CT
3. Antibiotic treatment and CT in one month
4. None of the above

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Findings: aside form large bullae in both upper lobes, an irregular nodule is evident in the RUL (A-B, arrows). In my opinion, given the appearance of the nodule I would suspect malignancy and request a PET-CT. However CT was reported as: Pseudonodular opacity in RUL that could be related to an infectious/inflammatory process. A neoplasm cannot be excluded. Recommend control after treatment

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A chest radiograph was taken one month later.
What would you do?

1. PET-CT
2. CXR in three months
3. CT in three months
4. Control in one year

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The chest radiograph one month later was reported as unchanged and no further suggestions were made by the radiologist. The clinician took no further action.

The patient came back ten months later, and a new radiograph showed an obvious increase in size of the nodule (B, arrow) when compared to the initial film (A, arrow)

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Enhanced CT confirms the increase in size of the nodule (A-B, arrows). Surgery discovered a carcinoma in the wall of a bulla.

Final diagnosis: adenocarcinoma of the lung associated to bullous disease.

Lung carcinoma seems to occur more often in bullous disease, although there is not enough evidence compiled at the present time. Despite the lack of evidence, knowing
this association may prevent misdiagnosis.
A lesser known fact is that the cystic space may disappear after the carcinoma develops, as occurred in a second case (see below). Spontaneous regression of a bulla may be due to non-malignant causes, but carcinoma should be excluded with CT because it may take years for the lesion to be visible in the chest radiograph.

I am showing this case because the opinion given in the chest radiograph was unequivocal, whereas the CT report was vapid, giving the impression that the nodule was infectious, and that malignancy was less likely. The follow-up radiograph was disregarded by the radiologist and clinician and this caused a delay in diagnosis of almost one year.

To complete the information, I am showing a second case of carcinoma developing in the wall of a cystic space

Images of the second case were obtained during routine CT screening in a 72-year-old man, heavy smoker.
Apical axial CT image shows a small nodule in the LUL (A, arrow), with increased uptake on PET-CT (C, arrow). There is a cystic airspace in the LLL (B, arrow) with no PET-CT uptake, interpreted as a non-specific cystic airspace lesion.

At surgery a carcinoma of the LUL was found.

It was decided to continue with yearly follow-up studies. The cystic air space (A, arrow) increased in size in 2008 but still had a thin wall (B, arrow). In 2009 it has decreased slightly in size and the wall is thicker than the previous year (C, arrow). A new PET-CT shows increased uptake in the posterior wall (D, arrow).

Malignancy was suspected. The patient refused further surgery or percutaneous biopsy and it was decided to do a follow up study three months later.
Axial CT shows that the cystic airspace has disappeared and in its place, a solid mass has developed (A and B, arrows) with increased overall uptake on PET-CT (C, arrow). At surgery, an adenocarcinoma was found.

Final diagnosis: adenocarcinoma arising in the wall of a cystic airspace, which disappeared as the tumour progressed.


Follow Dr. Pepe’s advice:

1. Bullous emphysema and isolated cystic spaces may be associated with an increased incidence of carcinomas

2. A poorly worded report may cause an unnecessary delay in diagnosis

Musculoskeletal #15 – Flashcard

This is the third and last case of the musculoskeletal series. Check the first one and second one on this blog.

What do you see on the following images?

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Osteoblastoma: Osteoblastoma is histologically similar to osteoid osteoma but they are larger (usually accepted more than 1 cm), often involving the posterior column

Neuroradiology #24 – Flashcard

89-year-old female patient with aplastic anemia. Showing CT images without contrast media. What do you see?

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CT images without contrast media: Subacute isodense right subdural hematoma, revealed with narrowing of right cerebral hemispheric sulci and right lateral ventricle and minimal midline shift (red arrows), acute left subdural hematoma (blue arrow)