Imaging of urgencies and emergencies in patients with lung cancer

Lung cancer patients often experience potentially life-threatening medical urgencies and emergencies. Since early diagnosis is important for adequate patient management and prognosis, radiologists have a crucial role in recognising and communicating these urgencies and emergencies. This pictorial review addresses the most common thoracic, neurological and musculoskeletal medical emergencies in lung cancer patients and focuses on imaging findings, the role of different imaging techniques and a brief discussion of epidemiology, pathophysiology and therapeutic options.

Teaching points
• Multiplanar multidetector computed tomography is the imaging examination of choice for thoracic urgencies and emergencies.
• Magnetic resonance imaging is the imaging modality of choice for investigating central nervous system emergencies.
• Urgencies and emergencies can be the initial manifestation of lung cancer.
• Radiologists have a crucial role in recognising and in communicating these urgencies/emergencies.

Article: Imaging of urgencies and emergencies in the lung cancer patient

Authors: Bruno De Potter, Jef Huyskens, Birgitta Hiddinga, Maarten Spinhoven, Annelies Janssens, Jan P. van Meerbeeck, Paul M. Parizel, Annemie Snoeckx