Centrilobular emphysema

Case contributed by Farzaneh Shobeirian
Diagnosis certain


Heavy smoker patient with a complaint of chronic short of breath

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male



Marked hyperinflation of the lungs and flattening of hemidiaphragms are noted.



Focal lucencies (emphysematous spaces) located centrally within the secondary pulmonary lobules, some with central or peripheral dots representing bronchovascular bundles, are seen bilaterally. Emphysematous changes are seen predominantly in upper zones of each lung and more extensive on the right side.

Case Discussion

Pulmonary emphysema is an abnormal permanent enlargement of the airspaces distal to the terminal bronchioles associated with destruction of the alveolar wall. 

Centrilobular emphysema is the most frequent type of pulmonary emphysema which affects the proximal respiratory bronchioles, particularly of the upper zones. Centrilobular emphysema is associated with smoking.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.