Emphysema

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle

Presentation

Retired electrician with a history of 40 pack years of smoking. Shortness of breath.

Patient Data

Age: 68
Gender: Male
X-ray

Hyperinflated lungs as indicated by flattened diaphragms.

The upper lobes are relatively radiolucent compared to the lower lobes, in particular the right upper lobe with less prominent bronchovascular markings.

Case Discussion

Emphysema is one spectrum of COPD, a condition exclusively related to a history of tobacco use.

At its most extreme bullae are evident. Disease is normally pronounced before appreciable on x-ray.

HRCT chest illustrates even minor disease and aids characterization.  

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