Pneumothorax: a classical presentation of metastatic scalp angiosarcoma

Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Sep;94(3):e77-8. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.02.030.


Metastatic pulmonary angiosarcomas frequently present with pneumothorax, especially those arising from the scalp. The metastases on chest radiographs are initially subtle and easily missed. Computed tomographic scans can show a spectrum of diagnostic findings that may be misinterpreted because of a lack of awareness related to the rarity of the disease. We report a patient who presented with pneumothorax and lung cysts before his primary scalp angiosarcoma was diagnosed. This case highlights the sometimes ominous nature of innocuous-looking, thin-walled cystic pulmonary lesions.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Hemangiosarcoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemangiosarcoma / secondary*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pneumothorax / diagnosis*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Scalp*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed