Alveolar abnormalities

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Definition

Alveolar abnormalities are changes in the tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli. The alveoli allow oxygen to enter the blood. They are very thin to let oxygen move from the lungs to the blood vessels, and for carbon dioxide to be removed from the blood vessels to the lungs.

These air sacs may collapse, fuse together, or develop thickened linings (membranes), which make it difficult for oxygen to enter the blood.

Alternative Names

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Symptoms

Signs and tests

Treatment

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Complications

Calling your health care provider

Prevention

References

Albertine KH. Anatomy of the lungs. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders; 2010:chap 1.

Reynolds HY. Respiratory structure and function: mechanisms and testing. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 85.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 6/10/2011
  • David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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This page was last updated: April 14, 2014

         
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