Case of the Month

Our Imaging Case of the Month is presented as a part of the Imaging Department's residency teaching program. Each month a resident collaborates with one of our attending imaging physicians to present an interesting case to the Cedars-Sinai medical community. The case is used to teach both imaging and other residents at Cedars-Sinai. Below is the current Case of the Month.

Thomas J. Learch, MD

81-Year-Old Man with Weakness and Edema

Submitted by Garrett Dejesus, MD, and Thomas J. Learch, MD

History of Present Illness
  • 81-year-old man with progressive weakness, abdominal distension, lower extremity swelling for 2-3 months 
Past Medical History
  • Diabetes mellitus Type 2, A1C 7.9%
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Gastroparesis
  • Prepatellar bursitis with drainage (2014)
  • Cervical herniated disc
  • Recently finished a course of ampicillin clavulanate (3 days prior to presentation)
Initial Physical Exam
  • BP 149/60 HR 89 RR 18 T 99 SaO2 94%
  • Gen app: No acute distress and oriented
  • HEENT: Mild dry mucous membranes
  • Resp: Clear bilaterally
  • CV:  Regular rate, no murmurs
  • Abd: Moderate distension, ascites noted, soft
  • Skin: No rashes, no jaundice
  • Ext: Bilateral lower extremity edema
  • Neuro: Within normal limits, no focal abnormalities 


Above: Frontal chest radiograph demonstrates bibasilar linear opacities suggestive of atelectasis, but with a developing consolidation and/or effusion not excluded.

Above and below: Chest CT with contrast demonstrates bilateral pleural effusions and a pulmonary nodule in the anterior left upper lobe and abutting the left minor fissure.

Differential Diagnosis?

  • Infection (bacterial or fungal)
  • Autoimmune (vasculitis or RA, sarcoidosis)
  • Malignancy (lung cancer or paraneoplastic syndrome)


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