Last revised by Joshua Yap on 26 Mar 2024

Consolidation describes increased lung attenuation sufficient to obscure bronchial walls and blood vessels (on non-enhanced CT). Patent airways can be identified by the endoluminal gas as an air bronchogram. Consolidation can be caused by any process that evacuates alveolar air such as pneumonia, when air is replaced by inflammatory exudate, or tumor, when air is replaced by tumor cells 3.

On radiographs, consolidation appears as air bronchograms within opacity which is otherwise homogeneous.



The opacification is caused by fluid or solid material within the airways that causes a difference in the relative attenuation of the lung:

When considering the likely causes of airspace opacification, it is useful to determine chronicity (by reviewing previous radiographs) and considering laterality.

Additionally, the presence of mediastinal or hilar lymphadenopathy further refines the massive list of differentials:

Patterns of disease

On chest radiography a number of patterns are recognized:

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