Radiological Criteria

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 Focus of increased density whose central portion has been replaced by air.

The following characteristics help in the differential diagnosis.


Multiple bilateral cavities would raise suspicion for either branchiogenous or hematogenous process. You should consider:

            Single cavity


A large cavity encompassing the entire lobe or lung should raise suspicion for gangrene of lung.


Wall Thickness:

Lining of Wall:

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


Associated Features: 

Ipsilateral lymph nodes or lytic lesions of the bone is seen with malignancy.

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 include:

Comprehension of the Above Principles: