Is it possible for a pulmonary contusion to be confused with a cancerous mass on X-ray or CT scan?

Posted on Mon, 27 Jan 2014 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Question: Is it possible for a pulmonary contusion to be confused with a cancerous mass on x-ray or CT scan?
Answered by Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein 21 minutes later
Brief Answer: Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. There are some similar Xray features of lung contusion and lung masses and sometimes it can be diagnostic challenge,but for experienced radiologist and if there was history of lung trauma, even only xrays is enough for right diagnosis. Contusion shows consolidated areas of lungs and is not restricted by the anatomical boundaries of lungs,it is more diffuse. While lung tumors are usually oval and well defined lesions. Even if there are some doubts on xray exam,CT scan is very sensitive for such patology and I dont think it can be misdiagnosed. Wish you good health. Feel free to ask. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein 23 minutes later
Thank you for your prompt response! My dad was admitted for right upper lobe pneumonia and in the process of a chest x-ray, then a CT scan, an "area" was detected along the same vicinity of the infiltrate that the physician said was "concerning" for cancer. He's having an MRI in 2 weeks for further investigation. Also, the CT scan showed "spots" on his liver. He had a CT scan about 6 mos ago in which the lungs and liver were unremarkable. However, my mom remembered he had fallen hard in the bathroom 1-1/2 to 2 weeks before the onset of this pneumonia, landing across the toilet, striking his chest and abdomen on the right side. I was just wondering if the trauma could have in fact caused the pneumonia and the other areas they're seeing could also be a result of that trauma, especially since the "area" on his lung is more or less in the same vicinity as the infiltrate....
Answered by Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Hi Detailed Answer: Well, lung contusion rarely happens without ribs fracture so if there wasnt detected rib fracture,I doubt this was contusion. Also,such injuries shoudnt be directly related to pneumonia,but if he had pain during breathing,he might not ventilate his lungs good enough and it facilitates pneumonia development;this is known mechanism. Infiltrate is in most cases sign of pneumonia,but many other lung disorder can be included in differential diagnosis; emphysema, fibrosis, aspirational pneumonia, but tumors too. His diagnostic results necessiate further tests especially if he is a smoker. MRI is more specific and it should rule out malignancy. Liver spots can be signs of something very bad,but also in most cases these are just liver cysts or adenomas,especially if not larger than 5mm. All in all,cancer is not first thing to think of,but it must be ruled out so that treatment can start on time.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Iven Romic Rommstein

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 13305 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,   ,   ,  
Lab Tests ,  
Medical Topics

Recent questions on  Pulmonary contusion

doctor1 MD

Hello Doctor,

My sister has met with accident 20 days back and is currently in Columbia Asia Bangalore undergoing treatment for lung contusion as...

doctor1 MD

I got into a car accident 2wks ago and was diagnosed with chest wall contusion. Well, I have been doing my breathing exercises but still having...

doctor1 MD

I have been diagnosed with a right should contusion after a skateboarding accident two days ago and have been constantly using it due to duties and...

doctor1 MD

mva 31816. head on, restrained driver. ct scan and blood work all wnl. today sob, pulse ox shows 90%. chest tight and uncomfortable. what should I do.

doctor1 MD

i continue to experience pain in my chest leaning more to the left side and right in the centre, i have gone for a lung function test, results show...

doctor1 MD

Passed out in bathroom while p-ing, and fell. Aparently hit corner of something on the way down, and broke a rib. Think I also bruised lung. Rt...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

129 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction