Air bronchogram (summary)

Dr Derek Smith and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Air bronchogram describes gas within a bronchus that is surrounded by alveoli filled with fluid, pus or other material. It is a very useful sign because it is highly sensitive and specific for the presence of consolidation rather than collapse.

Reference article

This is a summary article; read more in our article on air bronchogram.

  • pathophysiology
    • gas-filled bronchus inside a consolidated lung
      • pus/fluid/cells within the alveolar spaces
      • the bronchi often remain aerated
    • proves pulmonary consolidation
      • useful when differentiating from collapse

chest x-ray | CT chest

  • role of imaging
  • radiographic features
    • chest x-ray
      • black gas-filled bronchus running through the opacified lung
        • opacified lung will be white on a chest x-ray
    • CT chest
      • appearances are the same as a chest x-ray
      • the aerated bronchi may be across several slices
        • depending on technique slices will be 1-5 mm thick
Medical student radiology curriculum
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Article information

rID: 51427
System: Chest
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Cases and figures

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    Case 1: left lower lobe pneumonia
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    Case 2: right upper lobe consolidation
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    Case 3: air bronchograms on CT
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    Case 4: hemithorax white-out (pneumonia)
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