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Fleischner Society: Glossary of Terms for Thoracic Imaging1


David M. Hansell, MD, FRCP, FRCR Alexander A. Bankier, MD Heber MacMahon, MB, BCh, BAO Theresa C. McLoud,MD Nestor L. Muller, MD, PhD ¨ Jacques Remy, MD

Members of the Fleischner Society compiled a glossary of terms for thoracic imaging that replaces previous glossaries published in 1984 and 1996 for thoracic radiography and computed tomography (CT), respectively. The need to update the previous versions came from the recognition that new words have emerged, others have become obsolete, and themeaning of some terms has changed. Brief descriptions of some diseases are included, and pictorial examples (chest radiographs and CT scans) are provided for the majority of terms.
RSNA, 2008


From the Department of Radiology, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London SW3 6NP, United Kingdom (D.M.H.); Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass (A.A.B.);Department of Radiology, University of Chicago Hospital, Chicago, Ill (H.M.); Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass (T.C.M.); Department of Radiology, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (N.L.M.); and Department of Radiology, CHRU de Lille, Hopital Calmette, Lille, France (J.R.). Reˆ ceived April 21, 2007; revision requested May 29;revision received June 6; accepted August 7; final version accepted September 19. Address correspondence to: D.M.H. (e-mail: RSNA, 2008

Radiology: Volume 246: Number 3—March 2008


SPECIAL REVIEW: Glossary of Terms for Thoracic Imaging

Hansell et al


he present glossary is the third prepared by members of the Fleischner Society and replaces the glossaries ofterms for thoracic radiology (1) and CT (2), respectively. The impetus to combine and update the previous versions came from the recognition that with the recent developments in imaging new words have arrived, others have become obsolete, and the meaning of some terms has changed. The intention of this latest glossary is not to be exhaustive but to concentrate on those terms whose meaning may beproblematic. Terms and techniques not used exclusively in thoracic imaging are not included. Two new features are the inclusion of brief descriptions of the idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) and pictorial examples (chest radiographs and computed tomographic [CT] scans) for the majority of terms. The decision to include vignettes of the IIPs (but not other pathologic entities) was based onthe perception that, despite the recent scrutiny and reclassification, the IIPs remain a confusing group of diseases. We trust that the illustrations enhance, but do not distract from, the definitions. In this context, the figures should be regarded as of less importance than the text—they are merely examples and should not be taken as representing the full range of possible imaging appearances (whichmay be found in the references provided in this glossary or in comprehensive textbooks). We hope that this glossary of terms will be helpful, and it is presented in the spirit of the sentiment of Edward J. Huth that “scientific writing calls for precision as much in naming things and concepts as in presenting data” (3). It is right to repeat the request with which the last Fleischner Societyglossary closed: “[U]se of words is inherently controversial and we are pleased to invite readers to offer improvements to our definitions” (2).

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