To review classic radiologic signs in thoracic computerized tomography (CT) imaging,
which constitute a fundamental tool to any radiologist,
especially by enhancing the capabilities of assessment and diagnosis,
adding celerity in the recognition of classic patterns,
often ignored or overlooked.
In thoracic imaging,
there is a great variety of classic radiologic signs,
many times characterized with names of daily life objects or representations of visual patterns,
commonly found in ordinary life.
Dominating the knowledge of these signs is important,
since it supplies visual associations useful to the radiologist,
allowing a faster and more objective recognition of imaging patterns classically associated with certain pathologic entities and,
a shortening of the differential diagnosis list in mind.
Findings and procedure details
We carried out a literature review of classic signs in thoracic radiology,
using 19 real examples from the archive at Centro Hospitalar de São João,
identifying the respective clinical context and the matching imaging findings.
Signet ring sign
One of the most common and basic signs of bronchiectasis in chest CT imaging is the “signet ring” sign (Fig. 1): a ring of soft-tissue attenuation (bronchial wall) surrounding a round lucent area (bronchial lumen with air in cross-section),
with an adjacent smaller nodular structure,
Reviewing classic signs in thoracic imaging is still important,
both for radiologists or physicians in other areas of expertise.
With the latest advances in computerized tomography,
important clues can be obtained through the identification of easily recognisable patterns,
speeding the process of acquisition of accurate diagnosis and further reducing the need of extra imaging techniques.
Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co.; 1973
Thoracic imaging: pulmonary and cardiovascular radiology.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011.
Back to Basics - “Must Know” Classical Signs in Thoracic Radiology.
Journal of Clinical Imaging Science,
Classic Signs in Thoracic Radiology.
ECR 2014 Educational Exhibit,