What are the radiographic findings of bronchopneumonia?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Bronchopneumonia, also known as multifocal or lobular pneumonia, is radiographically identified by its patchy appearance with peribronchial thickening and poorly defined air-space opacities. As illness becomes more severe, consolidation involving the terminal and respiratory bronchioles and alveoli results in the development of centrilobular nodular opacities or air-space nodules. The consolidation can develop further and coalesce to give a lobular or lobar pattern of involvement.

Typically, air bronchograms are absent. The pathogens known to cause this pattern of pneumonia are particularly destructive. Thus, abscesses, pneumatoceles, and pulmonary gangrene may develop. Pathologically, bronchopneumonia stems from inflammation of large airways (bronchitis) with patchy (lobular) involvement.

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