Radiologists rely on imaging patterns to arrive at a diagnosis. The different morphological patterns in the lungs are well known, but less emphasis has traditionally been placed on the pattern of distribution. This important feature greatly assists in the differential diagnosis regarding many pulmonary diseases and is the focus of this article. Chest radiographs often result in a narrow differential if one understands the regional differences and microenvironments within the lung and takes into consideration the ancillary imaging findings. High-resolution computed tomography offers additional information at the level of the secondary pulmonary lobule to fine-tune the distribution pattern and, consequently, the differential diagnosis. Disease distribution is often as important as the morphologic appearance of the disorder. This article will approach pulmonary diseases from the perspective of distribution patterns, highlighting the more common patterns. The goal of this review article is to give radiologists a conceptual framework that may be applied in their daily work environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging