High-attenuation mucus plugs on MDCT in a child with cystic fibrosis: Potential cause and differential diagnosis

Andrey Morozov, Kimberly E. Applegate, Shanaree Brown, Michelle Howenstine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


High-attenuation mucus plugging is a rare finding in both adults and children. When it occurs, the field of differential diagnoses is typically quite small and includes acute hemorrhage, aspiration of radiodense material, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). The last of these three diagnoses is the most difficult to make, although ABPA is more commonly seen in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) or asthma. ABPA is radiographically characterized by recurrent mucus plugging, atelectasis, and central bronchiectasis. Thus far, high-attenuation mucus plugs have only been reported in adults. We report a rare case of a child with CF who had high-attenuation mucus plugs and atelectasis that raised the possibility of ABPA. We discuss the differential diagnoses of this finding and the role of multidetector CT in these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-595
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007



  • Aspergillosis
  • Children
  • CT
  • Cystic fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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