We retrospectively evaluated the computed tomography (CT) appearance of the bronchial stump and second carina (left upper lobe spur) after left upper lobectomy. There were 69 CT examinations in 38 patients; all were free of recurrent or metastatic disease. The spur was graded as a) sharp (wedge- shaped tip configuration with <90°angulation), b) lobulated (bulbous tip with <90°angulation), or c) widened (>90°angulation regardless of tip configuration). The bronchial stump was evaluated for the presence or absence of soft tissue in proximity to the surgical staples. The spur had a sharp appearance in 33 of 38 patients (87%) and was lobulated in 5 of 38 (13%). No patient had soft tissue at the bronchial stump. Serial examinations showed no change in the appearance of either structure. The spur remains sharp after left upper lobectomy in most patients; lobulation occurs in 13%. No changes occur over time. Interval change, widening of the spur, or soft tissue at the bronchial stump may suggest abnormality. Knowledge of normal and potentially abnormal appearances is essential to proper CT interpretation, particularly in the setting of postoperative surveillance for recurrent or metastatic disease.
- Computed tomography
- Lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine