This module is meant for advanced learner.

Radiological criteria

Hole in lung with a wall, lumen and contents. Focus of increased density whose central portion has been replaced by air.

Following characteristics help in differential diagnosis.


Multiple bilateral cavities would raise suspicion for either bronchogenous or hematogenous process. Hematogenous lesions usually have sharp margins because they are located in the interstitium. Bronchogenous cavities , the margins are shaggy.

            Single cavity



Wall Thickness

Lining of wall

The lining of wall is irregular and nodular in cancer lung or shaggy in lung abscess  . The appearance is akin to stalactites and stalagmites.


Associated Features

Evolution of lesion

Many times review of old films to assess the evolution of the radiological appearance of the lesion extremely helpful. Examples


Cavity can be encountered in practically most lung diseases.

Common diseases and their characteristics

Not all of the cavities you see in CXR are due to lung disease. Be aware of cavities in other locations projecting in CXR.

Comprehension of the above principles.

Self evaluation

Are you ready to see whether you have learned the subject. Remember not all the rules apply in each case. I am going to show you images. Come up with your differential and then check to see what it turned out to be. You are OK as long as you had it in your differential.

Contact: A.J Chandrasekhar