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.
Air lucencies within a pulmonary infarct is hypothesised 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.
The term was coined by John Ayres, radiologist from Oxford, England ref needed.
- 1. He H, Stein MW, Zalta B et-al. Pulmonary infarction: spectrum of findings on multidetector helical CT. J Thorac Imaging. 2006;21 (1): 1-7. doi:10.1097/01.rti.0000187433.06762.fb - Pubmed citation
- 2. Revel MP, Triki R, Chatellier G et-al. Is It possible to recognize pulmonary infarction on multisection CT images? Radiology. 2007;244 (3): 875-82. doi:10.1148/radiol.2443060846 - Pubmed citation