Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's your line?

A resident put in a left subclavian line and maybe went a little too far. An xray shows that it went into the right atrium and into the IVC and up to the IVC filter. When it was removed (with help from vascular), the filter had migrated up 2 vertebrae... Click image to enlarge. It is a bit dark.

Friday, February 15, 2008


A submission from a reader: "34 year old, non-smoking African American female presenting with a recurring (for three years now), chronic (lasts for several weeks up to a few months) dry, non productive cough. No other symptoms (though the attached CT report says wheezing). No response to a variety of drug treatments over the years, including steroid shot, Levaquin, OTC Mucinex, OTC Claritin, Tussionex, Nasacort, OTC Prilosec, 6-day regimen of Metrol (4mg), Advair and Albuterol. First pulmonologist (who performed no diagnostic tests) diagnosed asthma and allergies. Nothing indicated on chest x-ray. Internal medicine doctor ordered CT scan (report attached). Second pulmonologist said subpleural cysts exist, which he indicated exist with UIP patients, but he said this was not UIP. Also said it's not tuberculosis or sarcoidosis. Prescribed 20 mg of Prednisone twice a day to get rid of cough, said we will proceed once cough is gone. Said a lung biopsy or thoracic biopsy may be in order.

CT reading:
Helical CT images through the chest were obtained following
intravenous contrast administration.

Within both lungs and involving both the upper and lower lung zones,
there are areas of subpleural macrocystic change with some
associated subpleural interstitial thickening. There are no
particular areas of ground-glass opacity associated with these
findings. No significant nodularity is seen. The central and midlung
zones are spared. No pleural fluid or lymphadenopathy is seen. These
findings can be seen in patients with usual interstitial pneumonia
(UIP) although this would be somewhat atypical in a patient of this
age group. Does the patient have a smoking history? Other
interstitial lung disease in its early stages may give a similar