Discussion of Bronchial atresia
- Congenital bronchial atresia is a rare anomaly that results from focal obliteration of a proximal segmental or subsegmental bronchus that lacks communication with the central airways.
- The development of distal structures is normal.
- Bronchial atresia most often affects segmental bronchi at or near their origin; however, lobar or subsegmental bronchi may also be involved.
- The bronchi distal to the stenosis become filled with mucus and form a bronchocele.
- The alveoli supplied by these bronchi are ventilated by collateral pathways and show features of air-trapping, resulting in a region of hyperinflation around the dilated bronchi.
- The upper-lobe bronchi are more frequently affected; middle and lower lobes are rarely affected.
- The abnormality is an incidental finding in approximately 50% of cases, mostly in young men, and generally produces no symptoms or signs.
 Imaging Findings for Bronchial atresia
- In the newborn period, bronchial atresia is seen as a water-density mass.
- Later in childhood, the fetal lung liquid escapes and bronchial atresia is found because of focal air trapping.
- In adults, bronchial atresia characteristically is seen as a solitary pulmonary nodule due to a mucus plug and less frequently as congenital lobar emphysema.
- The characteristic chest radiographic finding consists of a bronchocele, seen as rounded, branching opacities radiating from the hilum. The bronchocele may contain an air-fluid level.
- The distal lung is emphysematous and produces an area of hyperlucency around the affected bronchi. In newborns, the affected segment may be seen as a fluid-filled mass.
- CT is a sensitive modality for demonstrating the typical features of bronchial atresia. It shows a round opacity at the site of the atresia, medial to the air trapping, which can be clearly depicted by performing expiratory CT.
 See Also
 External Links
 References for Bronchial atresia
- Teresa Berrocal, Carmen Madrid, Susana Novo, Julia Gutiérrez, Antonia Arjonilla, and Nieves Gómez-León. Congenital Anomalies of the Tracheobronchial Tree, Lung, and Mediastinum: Embryology, Radiology, and Pathology. RadioGraphics 2004 24: 17e.