Intercostal lung herniation - The role of imaging

Intercostal lung herniation - The role of imaging



Extrathoracic lung hernias can be congenital or acquired. Acquired hernias may be classified by etiology into traumatic, spontaneous, and pathologic. We present a case of a 40-year-old male with a history of bronchial asthma and a blunt chest trauma who presented complaining of sharp chest pain of acute onset that began after five consecutive days of vigorous coughing. Upon physical examination a well-demarcated deformity overlying the third intercostal space of the left upper anterior hemithorax was revealed. Thoracic CT scan showed that a portion of the anterior bronchopulmonary segment of the left upper lobe had herniated through a chest wall defect. The role of imaging, especially chest computed tomography with multiplanar image reconstructions and maximum (MIP) and minimum intensity projection (MinIP) reformats can clearly confirm the presence of the herniated lung, the hernial sac, the hernial orifice in the chest wall, and exclude possible complications such as lung tissue strangulation.


Intercostal lung hernia; computed tomography; image reformats