emphysema


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Related to emphysema: chronic bronchitis, bronchitis, asthma

emphysema

(ĕmfĭsē`mə), pathological or physiological enlargement or overdistention of the air sacs of the lungs. A major cause of pulmonary insufficiency in chronic cigarette smokers, emphysema is a progressive disease that commonly occurs in conjunction with chronic bronchitis. It is found predominantly in people over age 45, but a genetically based early-onset form also exists. Symptoms are difficulty in breathing, cough with thick sticky sputum, and a bluish tinge of the skin. Progressive disease can result in disability, and in severe cases heart or respiratory failure and death.

Causes

Cigarette smoking is the cause of most cases of emphysema. Tobacco smoke damages the lungs' alveoli, the tiny air sacs through which inhaled oxygen is transferred to the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is passed back to the lungs to be exhaled. The lungs become less elastic and breathing becomes increasingly difficult. The genetic form of emphysema occurs earlier in life (worsened by, but not dependent upon cigarette smoking). It is caused by a rare genetic deficiency of the protein alpha1-antitrypsin. In the absence of antitrypsin, which normally functions to protect the lungs from damage, the walls of the alveoli are attacked by chemicals released in alveoli in response to tobacco smoke and air pollutants.

Treatment

Emphysematous lung damage is irreversible. Its progression can be slowed by giving up smoking. Treatment is aimed at increasing the functional capacity of the lungs and may include bronchodilators, administration of supplemental oxygen, or lung transplantation. Surgical removal of affected lung tissue (lung volume reduction surgery), aimed at allowing healthy areas of the lung room to function, is being studied for its effectiveness and safety. The genetic form is treated with supplemental antitrypsin administered by infusion or by a gene therapy technique that uses T cells (special immune cells that identify diseased or deformed cells) to deliver it to the desired cell sites.

emphysema

[‚em·fə′sē·mə]
(medicine)
A pulmonary disorder characterized by overdistention and destruction of the air spaces in the lungs.

emphysema

Pathol
1. a condition in which the air sacs of the lungs are grossly enlarged, causing breathlessness and wheezing
2. the abnormal presence of air in a tissue or part
References in periodicals archive ?
It particularlyA surveyed a breathing-related illness called emphysema, as per (https://www.sciencealert.com/air-pollution-can-be-as-bad-for-lung-disease-as-a-pack-of-cigarettes) ScienceAlert.
Despite that the model reproduces many characteristics of human emphysema, this protease-induced emphysema model does not mimic a continuous low-level inflammatory process, especially the adaptive helper T cell immune responses induced by tobacco smoke, which is the most risk factor of COPD.
Emphysema was measured from CT scans that identify holes in the small air sacs of the participants' lungs, and lung function tests, which measure the speed and amount of air breathed in and out.
'These findings may offer one explanation for why emphysema is found in some people who never smoked,' said James Kiley, Ph.D., NHLBI's director of the Division of Lung Diseases.
During the course of psychotic episodes, in case of excessive screaming and self-harm as a result of squeezing the throat, beside subcutaneous emphysema, the presence of air in various parts of the body should be kept in mind.
Chest computed tomography (CT) revealed serial fractures in ribs 7-9 on the right, accompanied by underlying laceration of the visceral and parietal pleura and adjacent lung parenchyma, resulting in extensive subcutaneous emphysema and distinct pneumomediastinum (Figures 1 and 2).
In this study, we analyzed the lung volume ([cm.sup.3]), emphysema volume ([cm.sup.3]) and index (emphysema/lung volumes, in %), lung mean density (HU), relative bronchial wall thickness (to bronchus diameter, in %) for 3rd to 8th bronchi generation (excluding trachea and main bronchi), Pi10 (normalized measurement of wall thickness for a standardized 10 mm diameter bronchus), and the number of measured bronchi (which correlates with bronchodilation and presence of bronchiectasis) (21).
Trapped air in the periorbital subcutaneous tissue has been described in the literature using various terms such as subcutaneous emphysema, surgical emphysema, and interstitial emphysema.
In time, there's even difficulty in breathing when lying down but especially when there are colds; emphysema can also present with persistent cough with phlegm.
Finally the research team used an accepted statistical method to assess the impact of lung function measures and emphysema on risk of death.
Emphysema produces increased airway resistance because the bronchioles are obstructed as a result of inflammation and because damaged bronchioles collapse during expiration, trapping air within the alveolar sacs.