Unilateral hyperlucent lung

Case contributed by Keith Tam


Shortness of breath

Patient Data

Age: 70
Gender: Male

There is increased lucency in the right upper lung zone with reduced pulmonary vascular markings.


Extensive emphysematous changes bilaterally with bullous disease of the right lung.

Case Discussion

This patient has bilateral emphysematous disease. There is bullous formation and marked parenchymal destruction in the right lung, creating the appearance of a hyperlucent lung.

Differential considerations for a unilateral hyperlucent lung include the following, as per the CRAWLS mnemonic (not all are pertinent to this case) 1 :

C – Contralateral lung increased density, e.g. pleural effusion

R – Rotation

A – Air, e.g. pneumothorax

W – Chest wall mass/abnormality, e.g. Poland syndrome

L – Lungs, e.g. airway obstruction, Swyer-James syndrome, unilateral large bullae

S – Scoliosis

Case submitted by Dr. N. Larocque.

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Case information

rID: 50722
Published: 22nd Jan 2017
Last edited: 23rd Jan 2017
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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