Wednesday, 10 September 2008

What are Kerley B lines?

(That's right: 'Kerley B', not 'curly bee'! The reason for the silly name: Kerley was unfortunately someone's surname, and he identified three types of lines on chest X-ray, which he called A, B and C. B is the most famous, and you can basically forget about the other two.)

Kerley B lines are an X-ray finding that represents visible interlobular septa in the lung. As implied, these septa are usually invisible on X-ray, but certain conditions can fill them with radiopaque stuff.

The most common condition causing Kerley B lines is cardiac failure. In this case, the backing up of fluid in the pulmonary vasculature eventually breaches the blood vessel wall and floods the interstitium, of which the interlobular septa are a part. Alternatively, other conditions may fill the interlobular septa with different material, like fibrous tissue (in pulmonary fibrosis), cancer cells and their attendant infiltrate (e.g. carcinomatosis) or even haemosiderin (from recurrent pulmonary oedemas in which red cells made it to the interlobular septa, only to die there).

Kerley B lines are best appreciated in the lower lobes, where they are seen as transverse lines near the lung peripheries. Even at the best of times they are hard to see, however - as this supposedly 'classic' image shows. (The white arrows point to some of them, but if you are seeing any transverse white lines in the area you are probably looking at them!)


30 comments:

  1. Thanks - that made much more sense than my lecturer today!!

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  2. Thank you for making it very simple and easy

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  3. agree with the first anonymous comment. so much more sense than my lecturer!

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  4. Man, THAT is an EXPLANATION!!

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  5. excellent explanation

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  6. brilliant. thanks for this!

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  7. Thanks for the explanation.

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  8. not that impressive!!

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  9. thanks yaar . that was good.

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  10. it did help me!! thx dude!

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  11. you are the best!

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  12. Very interesting and am able to understand...but must you make fun of someone's surname? I share this sur name and am quite proud of it!
    A Kerley in TX

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  13. you did a good job down here... Tx

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  14. They make it sound so confusing in med school but yet when you see it, it makes total sense thanks!

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  15. thank youu

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  16. made it easy thanks:)

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  17. in ms karle's b line seen mention it....

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  18. Thanks. Lines are not that clear in the image

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  19. Yup - Kerley B lines are NEVER clear!!

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  20. its good 2 understand

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  21. thanks 4 making easy

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  22. made life easy now

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