This is a basic article which is aimed at medical students and non-radiologists in training grades. If you've arrived here by accident, and need more information, head to the main consolidation article.
Consolidation is a radiological sign that refers to non-specific air-space opacification on a chest radiograph or chest CT. Many things can fill the alveolar spaces, including fluid (heart failure), pus (pneumonia), blood (pulmonary hemorrhage) and cells (lung cancer).
Presentation is dependent on the underlying cause. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, productive cough +/- haemoptosis, fevers/chills/rigors and weight loss, particularly if malignancy is suspected.
On examination, decreased chest expansion may be noted on the affected side and dullness to percussion. On auscultation, findings include bronchial breath sounds, inspiratory crackles or crepitations, increased vocal resonance and pleural rub.