Pulmonary interstitial emphysema

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[edit] Discussion

  • Pulmonary interstitial emphysema is a manifestation of barotrauma most often seen in premature newborns who have respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Rupture of pulmonary alveoli results in air passing into the interstitial space of the lung.
  • The air has been described as being present in the interstitial spaces, surrounding the bronchovascular bundles, and in the pulmonary lymphatic channels of the interstitium.
  • Radiographic presence of pulmonary interstitial emphysema serves as a warning sign of other complications of barotrauma, such as pneumothorax.
  • In most patients, pulmonary interstitial emphysema is transient, lasting only for several days.
  • Rarely, pulmonary interstitial emphysema can persist and form expanding, radiolucent masses. This is known as persistent pulmonary interstitial emphysema.

[edit] Imaging Findings

[edit] Plain films

  • Linear, oval, and occasional spherical cystic air-containing spaces throughout the lung parenchyma.
  • Interstitial changes are initially linear but may become more cystic as the air in the interstitium congregates locally.
  • Subpleural cysts also develop and may rupture to produce a pneumothorax.
  • Heart tends to get smaller as intrathoracic pressure increases and results in diminished venous return into the chest.
  • Overall lung volume is increased; however, the lungs are less compliant because they are splinted at a large volume by the air within the interstitium.

[edit] Images

Patient #1

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

[edit] References