What is the imaging appearance of pulmonary contusions and lacerations?
Pulmonary contusions usually manifest as peripheral consolidations with or without ground glass opacities near or at a site of penetrating or blunt trauma. Contusions often clear within a couple days.
Pulmonary lacerations are the result of pulmonary parenchymal tearing and can be direct as in the setting of a stabbing or gunshot injury or indirect from shear forces. Initially, lacerations may not be evident because they may be masked by surrounding pulmonary contusion or be filled with hemorrhage. When seen, they are typically linear or stellate in configuration, and they may be filled with gas, fluid, and/or hemorrhage ( Figure 18-18 ). Unlike pulmonary contusions, lacerations persist for a much longer period of time.