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Diagnosing, Acquainting And Identifying With Atelectasis Via An X-Ray (Radiographic Investigation)

Updated on January 23, 2014

Doctor And Patient On An X-ray

It is a very common finding in chest x-rays and other radiological studies. It may be caused by normal exhalation or by several medical conditions. Although frequently described as a collapse of lung tissue, atelectasis is not synonymous with a pneum
It is a very common finding in chest x-rays and other radiological studies. It may be caused by normal exhalation or by several medical conditions. Although frequently described as a collapse of lung tissue, atelectasis is not synonymous with a pneum | Source

Diagnosing Atelectasis On Chest Radiograph

Acute atelectasis may occur as a post-operative complication or as a result of surfactant deficiency. In premature neonates, this leads to infant respiratory distress syndrome.
Acute atelectasis may occur as a post-operative complication or as a result of surfactant deficiency. In premature neonates, this leads to infant respiratory distress syndrome. | Source
Atelectasis may be an acute or chronic condition. In acute atelectasis, the lung has recently collapsed and is primarily notable only for airlessness. In chronic atelectasis, the affected area is often characterized by a complex mixture of airlessnes
Atelectasis may be an acute or chronic condition. In acute atelectasis, the lung has recently collapsed and is primarily notable only for airlessness. In chronic atelectasis, the affected area is often characterized by a complex mixture of airlessnes | Source
Chronic atelectasis may take one of two forms—middle lobe syndrome or rounded atelectasis. In right middle lobe syndrome, the middle lobe of the right lung contracts, usually because of pressure on the bronchus from enlarged lymph glands and occasion
Chronic atelectasis may take one of two forms—middle lobe syndrome or rounded atelectasis. In right middle lobe syndrome, the middle lobe of the right lung contracts, usually because of pressure on the bronchus from enlarged lymph glands and occasion | Source
In rounded atelectasis (folded lung syndrome), an outer portion of the lung slowly collapses as a result of scarring and shrinkage of the membrane layers covering the lungs (pleura). This produces a rounded appearance on x-ray that doctors may mistak
In rounded atelectasis (folded lung syndrome), an outer portion of the lung slowly collapses as a result of scarring and shrinkage of the membrane layers covering the lungs (pleura). This produces a rounded appearance on x-ray that doctors may mistak | Source
Rounded atelectasis is usually a complication of asbestos-induced disease of the pleura, but it may also result from other types of chronic scarring and thickening of the pleura.
Rounded atelectasis is usually a complication of asbestos-induced disease of the pleura, but it may also result from other types of chronic scarring and thickening of the pleura. | Source
The atmosphere is composed of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Since oxygen is exchanged at the alveoli-capillary membrane, nitrogen is a major component for the alveoli's state of inflation. If a large volume of nitrogen in the lungs is replaced with ox
The atmosphere is composed of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Since oxygen is exchanged at the alveoli-capillary membrane, nitrogen is a major component for the alveoli's state of inflation. If a large volume of nitrogen in the lungs is replaced with ox | Source
It is a common misconception that atelectasis causes fever. A study of 100 post-op patients followed with serial chest X-rays and temperature measurements showed that the incidence of fever decreased as the incidence of atelectasis increased.
It is a common misconception that atelectasis causes fever. A study of 100 post-op patients followed with serial chest X-rays and temperature measurements showed that the incidence of fever decreased as the incidence of atelectasis increased. | Source
The most common cause is post-surgical atelectasis, characterized by splinting, i.e. restricted breathing after abdominal surgery. Smokers and the elderly are at an increased risk. Outside of this context, atelectasis implies some blockage of a bronc
The most common cause is post-surgical atelectasis, characterized by splinting, i.e. restricted breathing after abdominal surgery. Smokers and the elderly are at an increased risk. Outside of this context, atelectasis implies some blockage of a bronc | Source
Another cause is poor surfactant spreading during inspiration, causing the surface tension to be at its highest which tends to collapse smaller alveoli. Atelectasis may also occur during suction, as along with sputum, air is withdrawn from the lungs.
Another cause is poor surfactant spreading during inspiration, causing the surface tension to be at its highest which tends to collapse smaller alveoli. Atelectasis may also occur during suction, as along with sputum, air is withdrawn from the lungs. | Source
There are several types of atelectasis according to their underlying mechanisms or the distribution of alveolar collapse; resorption, compression, microatelectasis and contraction atelectasis.
There are several types of atelectasis according to their underlying mechanisms or the distribution of alveolar collapse; resorption, compression, microatelectasis and contraction atelectasis. | Source
Treatment is directed at correcting the underlying cause. Post-surgical atelectasis is treated by physiotherapy, focusing on deep breathing and encouraging coughing. An incentive spirometer is often used as part of the breathing exercises.
Treatment is directed at correcting the underlying cause. Post-surgical atelectasis is treated by physiotherapy, focusing on deep breathing and encouraging coughing. An incentive spirometer is often used as part of the breathing exercises. | Source
 Ambulation is also highly encouraged to improve lung inflation. People with chest deformities or neurologic conditions that cause shallow breathing for long periods may benefit from mechanical devices that assist their breathing.
Ambulation is also highly encouraged to improve lung inflation. People with chest deformities or neurologic conditions that cause shallow breathing for long periods may benefit from mechanical devices that assist their breathing. | Source
One method is continuous positive airway pressure, which delivers pressurized air or oxygen through a nose or face mask to help ensure that the alveoli do not collapse, even at the end of a breath. This is helpful, as partially inflated alveoli can b
One method is continuous positive airway pressure, which delivers pressurized air or oxygen through a nose or face mask to help ensure that the alveoli do not collapse, even at the end of a breath. This is helpful, as partially inflated alveoli can b | Source
Sometimes additional respiratory support is needed with a mechanical ventilator. The primary treatment for acute massive atelectasis is correction of the underlying cause. A blockage that cannot be removed by coughing or by suctioning the airways oft
Sometimes additional respiratory support is needed with a mechanical ventilator. The primary treatment for acute massive atelectasis is correction of the underlying cause. A blockage that cannot be removed by coughing or by suctioning the airways oft | Source
 Antibiotics are given for an infection. Chronic atelectasis is often treated with antibiotics because infection is almost inevitable. In certain cases, the affected part of the lung may be surgically removed when recurring or chronic infections beco
Antibiotics are given for an infection. Chronic atelectasis is often treated with antibiotics because infection is almost inevitable. In certain cases, the affected part of the lung may be surgically removed when recurring or chronic infections beco | Source
If a tumor is blocking the airway, relieving the obstruction by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or laser therapy may prevent atelectasis from progressing and recurrent obstructive pneumonia from developing.
If a tumor is blocking the airway, relieving the obstruction by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or laser therapy may prevent atelectasis from progressing and recurrent obstructive pneumonia from developing. | Source
Atelectasis may be an acute or chronic condition. In acute atelectasis, the lung has recently collapsed and is primarily notable only for airlessness. In chronic atelectasis, the affected area is often characterized by a complex mixture of airlessnes
Atelectasis may be an acute or chronic condition. In acute atelectasis, the lung has recently collapsed and is primarily notable only for airlessness. In chronic atelectasis, the affected area is often characterized by a complex mixture of airlessnes | Source
Chronic atelectasis may take one of two forms—middle lobe syndrome or rounded atelectasis. In right middle lobe syndrome, the middle lobe of the right lung contracts, usually because of pressure on the bronchus from enlarged lymph glands and occasion
Chronic atelectasis may take one of two forms—middle lobe syndrome or rounded atelectasis. In right middle lobe syndrome, the middle lobe of the right lung contracts, usually because of pressure on the bronchus from enlarged lymph glands and occasion | Source
The blocked, contracted lung may develop pneumonia that fails to resolve completely and leads to chronic inflammation, scarring, and bronchiectasis.
The blocked, contracted lung may develop pneumonia that fails to resolve completely and leads to chronic inflammation, scarring, and bronchiectasis. | Source
In rounded atelectasis (folded lung syndrome), an outer portion of the lung slowly collapses as a result of scarring and shrinkage of the membrane layers covering the lungs (pleura). This produces a rounded appearance on x-ray that doctors may mistak
In rounded atelectasis (folded lung syndrome), an outer portion of the lung slowly collapses as a result of scarring and shrinkage of the membrane layers covering the lungs (pleura). This produces a rounded appearance on x-ray that doctors may mistak | Source
Rounded atelectasis is usually a complication of asbestos-induced disease of the pleura, but it may also result from other types of chronic scarring and thickening of the pleura.
Rounded atelectasis is usually a complication of asbestos-induced disease of the pleura, but it may also result from other types of chronic scarring and thickening of the pleura. | Source
The atmosphere is composed of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Since oxygen is exchanged at the alveoli-capillary membrane, nitrogen is a major component for the alveoli's state of inflation.
The atmosphere is composed of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Since oxygen is exchanged at the alveoli-capillary membrane, nitrogen is a major component for the alveoli's state of inflation. | Source
 If a large volume of nitrogen in the lungs is replaced with oxygen, the oxygen may subsequently be absorbed into the blood, reducing the volume of the alveoli, resulting in a form of alveolar collapse known as absorption atelectasis.
If a large volume of nitrogen in the lungs is replaced with oxygen, the oxygen may subsequently be absorbed into the blood, reducing the volume of the alveoli, resulting in a form of alveolar collapse known as absorption atelectasis. | Source
Alveolar capillary dysplasia (ACD, also congenital alveolar dysplasia) is a very rare congenital malformation involving abnormal development of the capillary vascular system around the alveoli of the lungs. It is a rare cause of persistent pulmonary
Alveolar capillary dysplasia (ACD, also congenital alveolar dysplasia) is a very rare congenital malformation involving abnormal development of the capillary vascular system around the alveoli of the lungs. It is a rare cause of persistent pulmonary | Source
 It also may be a rare cause of pulmonary hypoplasia. Until mid-2012, the only possible outcome was neonatal death, with one of the longest surviving infants living 2 months.
It also may be a rare cause of pulmonary hypoplasia. Until mid-2012, the only possible outcome was neonatal death, with one of the longest surviving infants living 2 months. | Source
Babies with ACD may appear normal at birth but within minutes or hours they develop respiratory distress with persistent pulmonary hypertension. ACD does not respond to standard therapies that resolve simple pulmonary hypertension. The lack of res
Babies with ACD may appear normal at birth but within minutes or hours they develop respiratory distress with persistent pulmonary hypertension. ACD does not respond to standard therapies that resolve simple pulmonary hypertension. The lack of res | Source
ACD is a genetic disorder. This is known because ACD has been reported in multiple families. There is more than one form of ACD. In some families, a form of ACD known as alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV) has
ACD is a genetic disorder. This is known because ACD has been reported in multiple families. There is more than one form of ACD. In some families, a form of ACD known as alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV) has | Source
Sometimes ACD is diagnosed clinically.[6] This is common when there is a family history of ACD, but rare otherwise. A clinical differential diagnosis of ACD excludes fetal atelectasis. ACD is not detectable by prenatal imaging.
Sometimes ACD is diagnosed clinically.[6] This is common when there is a family history of ACD, but rare otherwise. A clinical differential diagnosis of ACD excludes fetal atelectasis. ACD is not detectable by prenatal imaging. | Source
Most babies with ACD have normal Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes, but within minutes or hours present with hypoxia and upon investigation are found to have hypoxemia and pulmonary hypertension. Initial treatments address the hypoxia, usually beginnin
Most babies with ACD have normal Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes, but within minutes or hours present with hypoxia and upon investigation are found to have hypoxemia and pulmonary hypertension. Initial treatments address the hypoxia, usually beginnin | Source
Therapies that have been tried to extend life include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and nitric oxide. These are supportive therapies for persistent pulmonary hypertension; they do not treat the ACD. The objective of therapy is to keep the baby
Therapies that have been tried to extend life include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and nitric oxide. These are supportive therapies for persistent pulmonary hypertension; they do not treat the ACD. The objective of therapy is to keep the baby | Source
According to the St. Louis Children's Hospital (the Level I pediatric trauma center and pediatric teaching hospital for the Washington University School of Medicine), which is noted worldwide for its record in pediatric pulmonary transplantation
According to the St. Louis Children's Hospital (the Level I pediatric trauma center and pediatric teaching hospital for the Washington University School of Medicine), which is noted worldwide for its record in pediatric pulmonary transplantation | Source
a type of artificial lung device, the Quadrox, was used after ECMO as a bridge to a dual lung transplant in ten-month-old Eleni Scott of the St. Louis suburb of Florissant, Missouri, who after transplantation returned to her home. Doctors have said i
a type of artificial lung device, the Quadrox, was used after ECMO as a bridge to a dual lung transplant in ten-month-old Eleni Scott of the St. Louis suburb of Florissant, Missouri, who after transplantation returned to her home. Doctors have said i | Source
much less a successful, curative standard therapy, but the infant has survived thus far, meaning that there might be hope for sufferers of this rare condition. For more information, please see the link to the news release.
much less a successful, curative standard therapy, but the infant has survived thus far, meaning that there might be hope for sufferers of this rare condition. For more information, please see the link to the news release. | Source
In an adult, atelectasis in a small area of the lung is usually not life threatening. The rest of the lung can make up for the collapsed area, bringing in enough oxygen for the body to function.
In an adult, atelectasis in a small area of the lung is usually not life threatening. The rest of the lung can make up for the collapsed area, bringing in enough oxygen for the body to function. | Source
Large areas of atelectases may be life threatening, especially in a baby or small child, or someone who has another lung disease or illness.
Large areas of atelectases may be life threatening, especially in a baby or small child, or someone who has another lung disease or illness. | Source
The collapsed lung usually reinflates slowly if the blockage of the airway has been removed. However, some scarring or damage may remain.
The collapsed lung usually reinflates slowly if the blockage of the airway has been removed. However, some scarring or damage may remain. | Source
In general, the outlook depends on the underlying disease. For example, people with extensive cancer have a poor prognosis, while patients with simple atelectasis after elective surgery have good prognosis.
In general, the outlook depends on the underlying disease. For example, people with extensive cancer have a poor prognosis, while patients with simple atelectasis after elective surgery have good prognosis. | Source
a complete or partial collapse of a lung or lobe of a lung — develops when the tiny air sacs (alveoli) within the lung become deflated. It is one of the most common breathing (respiratory) complications after surgery.
a complete or partial collapse of a lung or lobe of a lung — develops when the tiny air sacs (alveoli) within the lung become deflated. It is one of the most common breathing (respiratory) complications after surgery. | Source
Atelectasis is also a possible complication of other respiratory problems, including cystic fibrosis, inhaled foreign objects, lung tumors, fluid in the lung, severe asthma and chest injuries.
Atelectasis is also a possible complication of other respiratory problems, including cystic fibrosis, inhaled foreign objects, lung tumors, fluid in the lung, severe asthma and chest injuries. | Source
The amount of lung tissue involved in atelectasis is variable, depending on the cause. Signs and symptoms of atelectasis also vary. Atelectasis can be serious because it reduces the amount of oxygen available to your body. Treatment depends on the ca
The amount of lung tissue involved in atelectasis is variable, depending on the cause. Signs and symptoms of atelectasis also vary. Atelectasis can be serious because it reduces the amount of oxygen available to your body. Treatment depends on the ca | Source
Significant atelectasis is likely to occur when you're already in a hospital. However, see your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing.
Significant atelectasis is likely to occur when you're already in a hospital. However, see your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing. | Source
Other conditions besides atelectasis can cause breathing difficulties and require an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. If your breathing becomes increasingly difficult, seek emergency care.
Other conditions besides atelectasis can cause breathing difficulties and require an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. If your breathing becomes increasingly difficult, seek emergency care. | Source
Atelectasis may be the result of a blocked airway (obstructive) or of pressure from outside the lung (nonobstructive).
Atelectasis may be the result of a blocked airway (obstructive) or of pressure from outside the lung (nonobstructive). | Source
Almost everyone who undergoes surgery has some atelectasis from anesthesia. Anesthesia changes the dynamics of airflow within the lungs, the absorption of gases and pressures, all of which combine to cause some degree of collapse of the tiny air sacs
Almost everyone who undergoes surgery has some atelectasis from anesthesia. Anesthesia changes the dynamics of airflow within the lungs, the absorption of gases and pressures, all of which combine to cause some degree of collapse of the tiny air sacs | Source
Accumulation of mucus in your airways, often occurring during and after surgery because you can't cough, is the most common cause of atelectasis. Drugs given during surgery make the lungs inflate less fully than usual, so normal secretions collect in
Accumulation of mucus in your airways, often occurring during and after surgery because you can't cough, is the most common cause of atelectasis. Drugs given during surgery make the lungs inflate less fully than usual, so normal secretions collect in | Source
A flexible, lighted tube threaded down your throat enables your doctor to see and possibly remove, at least partially, obstructions in your airway, such as a mucus plug, tumor or foreign body.
A flexible, lighted tube threaded down your throat enables your doctor to see and possibly remove, at least partially, obstructions in your airway, such as a mucus plug, tumor or foreign body. | Source
Suctioning the lungs during surgery helps clear away these secretions, but they may continue to build up afterward. This is why it's important to breathe and cough deeply during your recovery
Suctioning the lungs during surgery helps clear away these secretions, but they may continue to build up afterward. This is why it's important to breathe and cough deeply during your recovery | Source
Expanding the lungs gets air around the mucus plugs and makes them easier to cough out. Mucus plugs also are common in people with cystic fibrosis and during severe asthma attacks.
Expanding the lungs gets air around the mucus plugs and makes them easier to cough out. Mucus plugs also are common in people with cystic fibrosis and during severe asthma attacks. | Source
Unless you require emergency care, you're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a lung specialist (pulmonologist).
Unless you require emergency care, you're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a lung specialist (pulmonologist). | Source
A chest X-ray usually can diagnose atelectasis. Symptoms of a respiratory infection, especially pneumonia, on a child's chest X-ray may indicate a foreign body, the most common cause of obstructive atelectasis in children.
A chest X-ray usually can diagnose atelectasis. Symptoms of a respiratory infection, especially pneumonia, on a child's chest X-ray may indicate a foreign body, the most common cause of obstructive atelectasis in children. | Source
CT is more sensitive than plain X-ray in detecting atelectasis because it can measure lung volumes in all or part of a lung. A CT scan can also help determine whether a tumor may have caused your lung to collapse — something that may not show up on a
CT is more sensitive than plain X-ray in detecting atelectasis because it can measure lung volumes in all or part of a lung. A CT scan can also help determine whether a tumor may have caused your lung to collapse — something that may not show up on a | Source

© 2014 Funom Theophilus Makama

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