Hair elastic bead artifact demonstrating the radiographic appearance of a single pulmonary nodule: a case report

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John K. Peel
Nicholas Murray


radiology, false-positive, artifact


A solitary pulmonary nodule was identified radiographically in a 61 year old female smoker complaining of dyspnea. Solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN) is a single nodular opacity on chest imaging, which may indicate malignancy. Workup of this finding may require initial evaluation by CT scan, subsequent multiple follow up scans, and may ultimately warrant surgical biopsy for tissue diagnosis. False positive diagnosis of SPN may result in unnecessary radiation exposure, patient anxiety, and resource use that could be avoided by careful consideration of the clinical picture. Here we present a case of a false positive SPN attributable to hair elastic bead artefact. Hair artefact is a rare and avoidable phenomenon in which a patients hair is visualized on chest imaging, causing focal opacification not attributable to lung pathology. Clinicians should be conscious of hair and hair elastic bead artefacts before other initiating next steps in a workup.