Learning Radiology xray montage

"Masses" with Air Bronchograms
Differential Diagnosis


General Considerations

  • The “air bronchogram” is a fundamental sign of pulmonary radiology in which the normally thin-walled and mostly invisible bronchi transform in multiple tubular branching structures made visible by a substance other than air surrounding them
  • The substance that can replace the sir around bronchi may be fluid, blood, pus, or, less likely, tumor

Causes of “masses” which may contain air bronchograms

  • The masses that contain air bronchograms are more likely to be malignant
  • Bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are the most frequent cell types
  • Other causes are
    • Lymphoma
    • Maltoma
  • Alveolar sarcoid may be “mass-like” and contain air-bronchograms 

 mass with air bronchogram

Mass with Air Bronchogram. There is a mass in the right upper lobe (red arrow) that contains multiple air bronchograms (black arrows). The mass was an adenocarcinoma of the lung.