Bubbly consolidation

Last revised by Mostafa Elfeky on 24 Nov 2022

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

Radiographic features


Gas lucencies within a pulmonary infarct are hypothesized to represent coexistence of aerated non-infarcted lung with infarcted lung in the same lobule. The dual blood supply to the lung permits survival of some of the pulmonary lobules within the region of the infarct.

Thinner CT slice decreases partial volume averaging and distinguish aerated non-infarcted lung as gas lucencies rather than as vague areas of low attenuation 1,2. 

In 2006 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.

History and etymology

The term was coined by John Ayres, radiologist from Oxford, England ref needed.

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