Comet tail sign

What is rounded atelectasis, and what is the “comet tail” sign?

Rounded atelectasis is a form of chronic atelectasis that occurs next to sites of pleural fibrosis and is the result of retraction of visceral pleural scar. Over time, this results in infolding of the lung, which eventually develops a rounded masslike appearance. To confidently establish the diagnosis of rounded atelectasis, one must see a rounded subpleural area of opacity with an adjacent pleural thickening, and curvilinear bronchovascular structures extending into the margin of the opacity (the latter of which is known as the “comet tail” sign) 

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