BACKGROUND: The differential diagnosis for primary lung masses in neonates includes a variety of developmental abnormalities; it also consists of the much rarer congenital primary lung tumors: cystic pleuropulmonary blastoma (cystic PPB), fetal lung interstitial tumor (FLIT), congenital peribronchial myofibroblastic tumor (CPMT), and congenital fibrosarcoma. Radiologic differentiation between malformations and tumors is often very challenging.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to establish distinctive features between developmental pulmonary abnormalities and primary lung tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 135 congenital lung lesions at a university mother and child center over a period of 10 years (2005-2015). During this time, we noted four tumors (two cystic PPBs and two FLITs) and 131 malformations. We recorded the following parameters: timing of conspicuity in utero (mid-second trimester, third trimester, or not seen prenatally), presence of symptoms at birth, prenatal and perinatal radiologic findings, and either histological diagnoses by pathology or follow-up imaging in non-operated cases.
RESULTS: All lesions except the four tumors were detected during mid-second-trimester ultrasound. In none of the tumors was any pulmonary abnormality found on the mid-second-trimester sonogram, contrary to the developmental pulmonary abnormalities.
CONCLUSION: The timing of conspicuity in utero appears to be a key feature for the differentiation between malformations and tumors. Lesions that were not visible at the mid-second-trimester ultrasound should be considered as tumor. A cystic lung lesion in the context of a normal mid-second-trimester ultrasound is highly suggestive of a cystic PPB. Differentiating the types of solid congenital lung tumors based upon imaging features is not yet feasible.