Air bronchogram

Air bronchogram refers to the phenomenon of air-filled bronchi (dark) being made visible by the opacification of surrounding alveoli (grey/white). It is almost always caused by a pathologic airspace/alveolar process, in which something other than air fills the alveoli. Air bronchograms will not be visible if the bronchi themselves are opacified (e.g. by fluid) and thus indicate patent proximal airways.

Air bronchograms can be seen with several processes:

Air bronchograms that persist for weeks despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy should raise the suspicion of a neoplastic process. CT may be planned in such cases.

See also

Chest x-ray
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Article information

rID: 868
System: Chest
Section: Signs
Tag: lung, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Air bronchograms

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: multilobar
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  • Case 2: with bronchoalveolar carcinoma
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  • Case 3: on ultrasound
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  • Case 4: in a pediatric pneumonia
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  • Case 5: contusion
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  • Case 6: alveolar edema
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