What is a dependent lung?

The lowest part of the lung in relation to gravity is called the dependent region. In the dependent region smaller alveolar volumes mean the alveoli are more compliant (more distensible) and so capable of more oxygen exchange.

What does Dependant lung mean?

Gravity-dependent atelectasis refers to a form of lung atelectasis which occurs in the dependent portions of the lungs due to a combination of reduced alveolar volume and increased perfusion. Being due to gravity, it usually has a dependent and subpleural distribution.

What is dependent vs nondependent lung?

Definition. In the lateral decubitus position the dependent lung is under ventilated as it is compressed by the compression of the abdominal contents and the weight of the mediastinum. The nondependent lung is relatively over ventilated secondary to increased compliance as the corresponding hemithorax is opened.

What is dependent densities in lungs?

Dependent opacity, also termed subpleural dependent density, consists of a stripe of ground glass attenuation 2 to 30 mm thick and is usually seen in the most dependent lung regions. It disappears when the lung is nondependent (3).

What is dependent lung consolidation?

What is a lung consolidation? Lung consolidation occurs when the air that usually fills the small airways in your lungs is replaced with something else. Depending on the cause, the air may be replaced with: a fluid, such as pus, blood, or water. a solid, such as stomach contents or cells.

What does dependent lung changes mean?

Gravity-dependent atelectasis refers to a form of lung atelectasis which occurs in the dependent portions of the lungs due to a combination of reduced alveolar volume and increased perfusion. Being due to gravity, it usually has a dependent and subpleural distribution.

What are the dependent regions of the lungs?

Specifically, the dependent lung is generally in a zone 3 (capillary distention) state. As intra-alveolar pressures rise, however, zone 2 and zone 1 (capillary collapse/dead space) regions can appear, creating high units.

Is dependent atelectasis serious?

When you breathe in and out, your lungs inflate and deflate like balloons. But if your airways get blocked or something puts pressure on your lungs, they might not inflate the way they should. Doctors call that condition atelectasis. It can be life-threatening in small children or people who have another lung problem.

How is dependent atelectasis treated?

Treatments include one or more of the following: Clap (percussion) on the chest to loosen mucus plugs in the airway. Deep breathing exercises (with the help of incentive spirometry devices). Remove or relieve any blockage in the airways by bronchoscopy.

Is Mild dependent atelectasis serious?

If enough of the lung is affected, your blood may not receive enough oxygen, which can cause health problems. Atelectasis often develops after surgery. It is not typically life-threatening, but in some cases, it needs to be treated quickly.

What causes dependent atelectasis?

Atelectasis occurs from a blocked airway (obstructive) or pressure from outside the lung (nonobstructive). General anesthesia is a common cause of atelectasis. It changes your regular pattern of breathing and affects the exchange of lung gases, which can cause the air sacs (alveoli) to deflate.

Will atelectasis go away?

Mild atelectasis may go away without treatment. Sometimes, medications are used to loosen and thin mucus. If the condition is due to a blockage, surgery or other treatments may be needed.

Can atelectasis cause back pain?

But if a larger area of the lung is affected, atelectasis can cause fever, shallow breathing, wheezing, or coughing. In severe cases, you may even experience sharp chest pain that radiates to the shoulders or the back.

What are the 3 types of atelectasis?

The term atelectasis can also be used to describe the collapse of a previously inflated lung, either partially or fully, because of specific respiratory disorders. There are three major types of atelectasis: adhesive, compressive, and obstructive.

Is atelectasis the same as collapsed lung?

A collapsed lung happens when air enters the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. If it is a total collapse, it is called pneumothorax. If only part of the lung is affected, it is called atelectasis.

Can atelectasis cause shoulder pain?

Symptoms of Atelectasis and Pneumothorax



Those symptoms may also indicate another serious condition, so always seek emergency medical attention if you experience: Sudden, sharp pain in the chest or radiating to the shoulder or back.

Is atelectasis the same as pneumonia?

Atelectasis is collapse of lung tissue with loss of volume. Patients may have dyspnea or respiratory failure if atelectasis is extensive. They may also develop pneumonia. Atelectasis is usually asymptomatic, but hypoxemia and pleuritic chest pain may be present in certain cases.

What type of atelectasis is the most common?

Obstructive atelectasis is the most common type and results from reabsorption of gas from the alveoli when communication between the alveoli and the trachea is obstructed. The obstruction can occur at the level of the larger or smaller bronchus.

Do you use a chest tube for atelectasis?

However, severe cases of atelectasis may require breathing exercises, mucus draining, bronchoscopy, inhaled medicines, or even tumor treatments, depending on the cause. Similarly, an acute case of pneumothorax will likely need a needle puncture to relieve built-up air, a chest tube, or even surgery.

What does atelectasis mean on a CT scan?

Atelectasis refers to either incomplete expansion of the lungs or the collapse of previously inflated lungs, which produces areas of relatively airless pulmonary parenchyma.

What does atelectasis look like on chest xray?

X-ray findings may include:



Atelectasis is often opaque lung associated with the diminished volume of air containing lung. Atelectasis can occur in a subsegmental (linear), segmental, or lobar distribution. The appearance of the diminished lung volume depends upon the type of atelectasis.