Bubbly consolidation

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


Air lucencies within a pulmonary infarct is hypothesized to represent coexistence of aerated non-infarcted lung with infarcted lung in the same lobule. The dual blood supply to the lung permit 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 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, radiologist from Oxford, England ref needed.

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Article information

rID: 18406
System: Chest
Section: Signs
Tag: cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Central or internal lucencies in peripheral pulmonary consolidation
  • Bubbly consolidation with pulmonary embolism

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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