Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

An unusual presentation of multiple cavitated lung metastases from colon carcinoma

Patrizia Seminara*, Gaia Manna, Alessandra Emiliani, Alessandro Iannace and Tania Losanno

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, Oncology A Unit - University "Sapienza" Viale dell'Università 37 - 00185 Rome, Italy

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BMC Medical Imaging 2011, 11:13  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-11-13

Published: 31 May 2011



Consolidation with or without ground-glass opacity is the typical radiologic finding of lung metastases of adenocarcinoma from the gastrointestinal tract. Lung excavated metastases from gastrointestinal carcinoma are very rare.

Case presentation

The authors describe an unusual presentation of multiple cavitated lung metastases from colon adenocarcinoma and discuss the outcome of a patient. The absence both of symptoms and other disease localizations, the investigations related to different diagnostic hypotheses and the empirical treatments caused a delay in correct diagnosis. Only a transparietal biopsy revealed the neoplastic origin of nodules.


This report demonstrates that although lung excavated metastases are described in literature, initial failure to reach a diagnosis is common. We would like to alert clinicians and radiologists to the possibility of unusual atypical features of pulmonary metastases from colon adenocarcinoma.

Excavated lung metastases; Computed tomography scan; Colon carcinoma; Atypical radiologic features of lung lesions; Diagnostic imaging