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Pulmonary Emphysema

July 31, 2012  by: Dr. Simran Kaur  Points: 12   Category: Health  Earning $0.30   Views: 466

Emphysema is distension of air spaces distal to terminal bronchiole along with the damage of alveolar septa.


Emphysema is distension of air spaces distal to terminal bronchiole along with the damage of alveolar septa.


1. Smoking is one of the main causes of pulmonary emphysema.

2. Exposure to cadmium on regular basis in occupation causes pulmonary emphysema.

3. Furnace blowers.

4. Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency.


Pulmonary emphysema is of three types depending upon the pattern in which acini are involved-

i) Centriacinar emphysema.

ii) Panacinar emphysema.

iii) Paraseptal emphysema.


1. Steadily progressing breathlessness on exertion.

2. Very slight cough with very scanty mucoid expectoration.

3. Initially, there is difficulty in breathing only on exertion or doing some heavy work or overwork. But as the disease progress towards chronic stage, there starts coming difficulty in breathing on doing even little work or even at rest.

4. Fatigue, weight loss and anorexia are also there.

5. Neck veins are distended during expiration whereas during inspiration they collapse briskly.

6. Tachypnoeic, accessory muscles of respiration are hypertrophied. Intensity of breath sounds is diminished.


1. Chest x-ray posterior anterior view.

2. Chest x-ray lateral view.

3. CT scan of chest.

4. Pulmonary function tests.

5. Arterial blood gas studies.


1. Treat the disease with appropriate medicines.

2. Cessation of smoking.

3. Avoidance of aggravating factor.

4. Physiotherapy.

5. Surgery.


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