Lymphangioleiomyomatosis: abdominopelvic CT and US findings

Radiology. 2000 Jul;216(1):147-53. doi: 10.1148/radiology.216.1.r00jl42147.


Purpose: To describe the abdominal computed tomographic (CT) and ultrasonographic (US) findings in patients with thoracic lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and to relate the prevalence of the findings to the severity of pulmonary disease.

Materials and methods: Eighty patients with LAM underwent chest and abdominopelvic CT and abdominopelvic US. The images were reviewed prospectively by one radiologist, and the abdominal findings were recorded and correlated with the severity of pulmonary disease at thin-section CT.

Results: Sixty-one (76%) of 80 patients had positive abdominal findings. The most common abdominal findings included renal angiomyolipoma (AML) in 43 patients (54%), enlarged abdominal lymph nodes in 31 (39%), and lymphangiomyoma in 13 (16%). Less common findings included ascites in eight (10%), dilatation of the thoracic duct in seven (9%), and hepatic AML in three (4%). A significant correlation (P =.02) was observed between enlarged abdominal lymph nodes and increased severity of lung disease.

Conclusion: There are characteristic abdominal findings in patients with LAM that, in conjunction with the classic thin-section CT finding of pulmonary cysts, are useful in establishing this diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography, Abdominal*
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography