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Thoracic Castleman Disease: Computed Tomography and Clinical Findings

Kwon, Soyi MD; Lee, Kyung Soo MD, PhD; Ahn, Soomin MD; Song, Inyoung MD; Kim, Tae Sung MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January/February 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 1 - p 1–8
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318270658b
Thoracic Imaging

Aim The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinicoradiological findings of thoracic Castleman disease.

Methods The study included 34 patients (22 male and 12 female patients; mean age, 32 [SD, 18.1] years) with thoracic Castleman disease. Clinicoradiological findings of the 34 patients were analyzed. Regarding computed tomography findings, lesion number, location, degree of enhancement (moderate, >20 Hounsfield units than back muscle enhancement; high, >40 Hounsfield units), and associated findings were recorded.

Results Of 34 patients, hyaline-vascular type (HVT) was found in 27 patients (79%), plasma cell type (PCT) in 5 patients (15%), and mixed type (6%) in 2 patients. In HVTs (n = 27), lesions were found, in decreasing order, in the lower neck (n = 9, 33%), pulmonary hilum (n = 6, 22%), and the upper paratracheal area (n = 4, 15%). Ten (37%) of 27 HVT patients had symptoms, whereas all (100%) with PCT had generalized symptoms. In 26 (96%) of 27 HVT patients, disease was unicentric, whereas it was multicentric in all PCT patients. Moderate to high degree of lesion enhancement was seen in 22 (92%) of 24 HVT patients and 4 (80%) of 5 PCT patients. Feeding vessels or draining veins were identified in 12 (44%) of 27 HVT patients and 2 (40%) of 5 PCT patients. The diseases were cured with surgical removal in HVT, whereas they showed variable prognosis in PCT.

Conclusions Irrespective of subtypes, Castleman disease is characterized radiologically by unicentric or multicentric enhancing lymph node enlargement; in HVT, they show good prognosis after surgical treatment, but in PCT, they show variable prognosis.

From the Departments of *Radiology and Center for Imaging Science and †Pathology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Received for publication June 28, 2012; accepted August 22, 2012.

Reprints: Kyung Soo Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Radiology Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine 50 Ilwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-710, Korea (e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.