Paraseptal emphysema

Last revised by Dr Sonam Vadera on 09 Mar 2021

Paraseptal emphysema refers to a morphological subtype of pulmonary emphysema located adjacent to the pleura and septal lines with a peripheral distribution within the secondary pulmonary lobule. The affected lobules are almost always subpleural, and demonstrate small focal lucencies up to 10 mm in size.

The patient is usually asymptomatic, but the condition is considered to be a cause of pneumothorax in young adults.

Paraseptal emphysema is usually limited in extent occurring most commonly along the dorsal surface of the upper lung, and is often associated with fibrosis and may coexist with other types of emphysema.

Any larger than 10 mm and they are referred to as subpleural blebs or subpleural bullae.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: paraseptal emphysema illustration
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3: with concurrent subpleural bullae
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5
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