Lung consolidation

Frontal chest radiograph
Inverted image of same frontal chest radiograph


Homogeneous air space opacity involving the right lower zone with fairly well defined margins. The contours of the right hemi-diaphragm and the right heart border are distinct. The costophrenic and cardiophrenic angles are defined. Linear lucencies seen within the opacity radiating from the hilum consistent with air bronchograms. No evident lung volume loss. Rest of the chest study is unremarkable.

What is lung consolidation?

Lucency of the lung is due to air present in alveoli. Replacement of air by any fluid can increase the density of the lung with the sparing of the segmental and subsegmental airways depicted as linear lucencies radiating from the hilum. Pneumonia is the most common cause of lung consolidation.

Key points to document in a report

  1. Extent of air space opacity
    • Is it limited to a lung segment?
    • Is there multisegmental lung involvement?
  2. Are there air bronchograms?
  3. Is there volume loss of affected lung?
  4. Is there a bronchial cut off? Look for masses in a region proximal to the airspace opacity – look closer to the hilum to see if there is anything possibly obstructing air flow.

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