As of the latest update, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge have made a breaking change to how file uploads are handled. Once your system installs this update, you will not be able to upload new images. Please use another browser until we can get it fixed.

Filling defect

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

A filling defect is a general term used to refer to any abnormality on an imaging study which disrupts the normal opacification (filling) of a cavity or lumen. The opacification maybe physiological, for example bile in the gallbladder or blood in a dural venous sinus, or maybe due to the installation of contrast medium, for example within a vessel, as part of a CT angiogram, within the bladder, during a cystogram, etc.


  • CT pulmonary angiogram: PE in the pulmonary artery interrupts normal contrast opacification of the vessel
  • CT colonogram: polyp in the colon prevents the normal gas and contrast filling of the bowel
  • MRCP: calculus in the common bile duct leaves a focus of low signal in the duct
Terms used in radiology
Share article

Article information

rID: 75486
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Filling defects

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: filling defects in pulmonary arteries
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.