emphysema

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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 ?
A rare cause of acute abdominal pain and gross hematuria: Emphysematous cystitis.
Briefly, stimulation with HGF reversed airspace enlargement in the emphysematous lung, while in vitro experiments conducted on alveolar epithelial cells established protecting effects of HGF.
Caption: Figure 2: Axial view of pelvic CT image demonstrating emphysematous changes in the bulb of the corpus spongiosum.
Gross findings showed severe emphysematous involvement in the upper lobe with marked bulla formation (Figure 2(a)).
Untreated pyelonephritis can cause severe damage to the kidney resulting in emphysematous pyelonephritis.
The aims of the present study were to identify the alterations in the levels of E-cadherin protein in the pulmonary emphysematous regions of COPD patients, to explain the possible causes of such alterations, and to determine the relation between E-cadherin and the integrity of pulmonary epithelium.
In two cows, there was distention of left paralumbar fossa and on palpation crepitating sound was heard due to emphysematous swelling of skin caused by previously multiple needle pricks for removal of gas.
One (0.49%) of them had emphysematous pyelonephritis.
Bacterial nephritis has a wide spectrum ranging from acute pyelonephritis (APN) to renal abscess and emphysematous pyelonephritis (EPN) (13).
Emphysematous pyelonephritis (EPN) is a rare infectious disease, of which risk factors are poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, and urinary tract obstruction.[sup][1],[2] In comparison with simple pyelonephritis, EPN is an acute severe necrotizing and gas-forming infection of the renal parenchyma with a mortality rate of up to 25%.[sup][3] Among the reported cases of EPN, there has only been one report of the disease where the "invisible kidney" was detected in the lung windows on noncontrast abdominal computed tomography (CT).
Emphysematous changes and destruction of lung architecture were observed with three-month CS exposure as well [8].