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Chest X-Ray
 
 

Atelectasis

 
 
 
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Overview

Atelectasis refers to alveolar volume loss resulting in collapse of a portion of the lung.
  • Signs of Atelectasis on Chest X-Ray

  • Pulmonary opacification
  • Air bronchograms - tubular outlines of the smaller airways
  • Silhouette signs - obliteration of normally clear outlines between lung fields and adjacent structures
  • Evidence of Volume Loss

  • Crowding of pulmonary vessels
  • Underinflation
  • Hemidiaphragmatic elevation
  • Tracheal deviation toward the area of atelectasis
  • Mediastinal shift toward the area of atelectasis
  • Hilar displacement
  • Causes of Atelectasis

  • Airway obstruction - mucous plugging, tumour, foreign body, bronchial intubation
  • Airway compression - lymphadenopathy, tumour
  • Lung compression - pleural effusion, pneumothorax
  • Hypoventilation - general anaesthesia, opioids, obesity
  • Examples

  • Left-sided pleural effusion with evidence of volume loss
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    Overlay
    Left-sided pleural effusion with evidence of volume loss
     
  • Large right-sided pneumothorax resulting in significant atelectasis
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    Overlay
    Large right-sided pneumothorax resulting in significant atelectasis
     
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