Table of Contents
Pathology Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 3502438, 17 pages
Review Article

Pathologic and Radiologic Correlation of Adult Cystic Lung Disease: A Comprehensive Review

1Department of Internal Medicine, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 836 West Wellington Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657, USA
2Department of Pathology, Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. 1st Avenue, Maywood, IL 60153, USA
3Department of Radiology, UC San Diego, 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103, USA
4Department of Anatomic Pathology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, USA
5Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Prajwal Boddu; moc.liamg@clawjarpb

Received 13 September 2016; Revised 11 December 2016; Accepted 18 December 2016; Published 8 February 2017

Academic Editor: Piero Tosi

Copyright © 2017 Prajwal Boddu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The presence of pulmonary parenchymal cysts on computed tomography (CT) imaging presents a significant diagnostic challenge. The diverse range of possible etiologies can usually be differentiated based on the clinical setting and radiologic features. In fact, the advent of high-resolution CT has facilitated making a diagnosis solely on analysis of CT image patterns, thus averting the need for a biopsy. While it is possible to make a fairly specific diagnosis during early stages of disease evolution by its characteristic radiological presentation, distinct features may progress to temporally converge into relatively nonspecific radiologic presentations sometimes necessitating histological examination to make a diagnosis. The aim of this review study is to provide both the pathologist and the radiologist with an overview of the diseases most commonly associated with cystic lung lesions primarily in adults by illustration and description of pathologic and radiologic features of each entity. Brief descriptions and characteristic radiologic features of the various disease entities are included and illustrative examples are provided for the common majority of them. In this article, we also classify pulmonary cystic disease with an emphasis on the pathophysiology behind cyst formation in an attempt to elucidate the characteristics of similar cystic appearances seen in various disease entities.