Hampton hump

The Hampton hump is a well-defined pulmonary pleural based opacity representing haemorrhage and necrotic lung tissue in a region of pulmonary infarction caused by acute pulmonary embolism. The medial margin of the opacity frequently demonstrates a medial curved ‘hump‘ directed towards the heart.

The Westermark sign has a 22% sensitivity, 82% specificity, 29% PPV, and 76% NPV as reported by Worsley et al. (1993) based on the cohort from PIOPED (Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis).

The following radiological images are of a 34 year old male with a 6 day history of right sided pleuritic chest pain and shortness of breath. Chest x-ray and CTPA below


1940 – Hampton reviewed a series of 370 cases with autopsy-proven pulmonary embolism. He found that pulmonary infarction was found in nearly 70% of cases, and subsequent wall necrosis led to pulmonary haemorrhage and an organized scar. After 24-72 hours, alveolar wall necrosis and haemorrhage lead to pulmonary consolidation (the infarct/ hump), which often scars if blood supply remains poor and the patient does not succumb.

He found that in patients without heart disease, the area of infarction would generally heal without scarring, however, patients with congestive cardiac failure were more likely to progress to develop a persisting pulmonary scar.

Associated Persons

Alternative names
  • Hampton’s hump



the names behind the name

Doctor in Australia. Keen interest in internal medicine, medical education, and medical history.

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