Kerley lines in the exam

Getting a film with Kerley lines in the exam is one of the many exam set-pieces that can be prepared for.

The film goes up and after a couple of seconds pause, you need to start talking:

There are bilateral basal interstitial lines that extend to the pleural surface - these are septal (Kerley B) lines. There is slight asymmetry of the breast shadows and metallic clips in the right axilla.  Features are consistent with previous breast carcinoma and lymphangitis carcinomatosis.

I would compare this with previous films and confirm the presumed diagnosis of treated breast carcinoma. The bone appears normal and there is no evidence of a pericardial effusion (both of which may occur with metastatic breast carcinoma). 

While there are many causes of septal lines, consider a shorter differential in the examination:

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Article information

rID: 16854
System: Chest
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Septal lines in the exam

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  • Lymphangitis carc...
    Lymphangitis carcinomatosis
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