Non-expandable lung

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 18 Jan 2023

Non-expandable lung results from failure of the lung to re-expand even despite a therapeutic measure such as insertion of a chest tube. This can include two semantically similar but slightly different terms:

  • trapped lung: non-expandable lung due to remote / prior pleural inflammation

  • lung entrapment: non-expandable lung due to active pleural inflammation (infection / tumor)

Non-expandable lung can also result from an obstructing endobronchial lesion leading to the distal lobar collapse 3.

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