What are pearls for radiography of congenital lobar emphysema (CLE)?

Updated: Apr 08, 2019
  • Author: Beverly P Wood, MD, MSEd, PhD; Chief Editor: John Karani, MBBS, FRCR  more...
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Answer

Answer

Be certain a mucous plug is not present, which can obstruct a bronchus, creating a "check valve" phenomenon that partially obstructs an airway.

Similarly, extrinsic masses, such as a congenitally large pulmonary artery (as in the absence of the pulmonary valve), can create emphysema from partial bronchial obstruction.

Usually, with careful image analysis, cystic lung disease does not mimic CLE; however, hypoplasia or agenesis of the contralateral lung may result in marked compensatory hyperexpansion of the lung, which can closely resemble CLE.


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