Article Abstract

CT features and differential diagnosis of primary pulmonary mucoepidermoid carcinoma and pulmonary adenoid cystic carcinoma

Authors: Xian Li, Wei Yi, Qingsi Zeng

Abstract

Background: The differential diagnosis of primary pulmonary mucoepidermoid carcinoma (PMEC) and pulmonary adenoid cystic carcinoma (PACC) is difficult, because both tumors could be similar in terms of certain characteristics on CT.
Methods: The CT findings from 24 cases of PMEC and 30 cases of PACC were retrospectively analyzed. According to the position of the lesion in airway, we divided these cases into three types: central, hilar, and peripheral.
Results: In PMEC, there were 7 cases of central type, 14 cases of hilar type, and 3 cases of peripheral type. And, 57.1% PMEC cases of the hilar type were accompanied by distal bronchial dilatation with mucoid impaction. Patchy areas of low density were observed in 79.2% cases of PMEC. The solid part of most lesions showed moderate (37.5%) or severe enhancement (45.8%). However, in PACC, there were 24 cases of central type, 3 cases of hilar type, and 3 cases of peripheral type. PACC had more cases of central type than PMEC. Moreover, longitudinal extent greater than 3 cm was observed in 62.5% PACC cases of the central type, while infiltration of the luminal perimeter more than 1/2 perimeter was observed in 95.8% PACC cases of the central type. Patchy areas of low density were observed in 26.7% cases of PMEC. In PACC cases, the solid part of 76.7% lesions showed slight enhancement. Cavities could be observed in PMEC, but not in PACC.
Conclusions: PMEC and PACC have different CT features in various airway locations. PMEC is usually the hilar type, accompanied by distal bronchial dilatation with mucoid impaction. However, PACC is usually the central type, with longitudinal extent greater than 3 cm and infiltration of the luminal wall more than 1/2 perimeter. Patchy areas of low density and moderate or severe enhancement are more prominent in PMEC. However, slight enhancement is more common in PACC.

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