Bubbly consolidation

Bubbly consolidation describes internal or central lucencies which represent normal aerated lung lobule within infrarcted, consolidated, lung parenchyma. It is one of the unique imaging appearances of focal pulmonary haemorrhage or possibly pulmonary infarct secondary to pulmonary embolism

Radiographic features


Air lucencies within a pulmonary infarct is hypothesized to represent coexistence of aerated noninfarcted lung with infarcted lung in the same lobule. The unique dual blood supply to the lung permit survival of some of the pulmonary lobules within the region of the infarct.

Thinner CT slice minimising partial volume averaging and distinguish aerated noninfarcted lung as air lucencies rather than as vague areas of low attenuation 1-2. 

In recent large retrospective studies the imaging appearance of pulmonary infarct "bubbly consolidation" is found in 32-46% of cases and with good interobserver agreement 1-2.

Historical context

The term was coined by John Ayres, FRCR from Oxford, England.

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