Pulmonary Apical Opacities on Thin-Section Computed Tomography: Relationship to Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax in Young Male Patients and Corresponding Histopathologic Findings.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that apical opacities on computed tomography (CT) are related to occurrence of primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) in young male patients.

METHODS

We compared the frequency of apical opacities on thin-section CT between 70 male patients with PSP (PSP group) and 74 male patients without a history of PSP (non-PSP group). We also evaluated histopathologic findings of 39 specimens from 37 surgical cases in the PSP group.

RESULTS

Apical opacities were significantly more frequent in the PSP group than in the non-PSP group (right side, P = 0.01; left side, P = 0.005). Histopathologically, subpleural band-like alveolar collapse was seen in 35 specimens (89.7%), which was always accompanied by fibroelastosis and fibroblastic foci.

CONCLUSIONS

Apical opacities on CT were significantly associated with PSP in young male patients. These apical opacities histopathologically correspond to fibrotic pleural thickening with subpleural alveolar collapse.

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