II. Definitions

  1. Atelectasis
    1. Alveolar collapse of lung lobe or segment

III. Pathophysiology

  1. Bronchial obstruction results in Lobar Collapse
    1. Implies lack of collateral ventilation
  2. Air distal to obstruction reabsorbed in 4-24 hours
    1. Reabsorption is faster with Supplemental Oxygen

IV. Causes

  1. Focal Splinting of respiratory Muscle and chest wall movement (limited by pain)
    1. Post-operative change
    2. Rib Fracture or rib Contusion
  2. Airway obstruction
    1. Mucus plugging
    2. Foreign Body Aspiration
    3. Lung Mass

V. Symptoms

VI. Signs

  1. Fever is not caused by atelectesis
    1. Both atelectesis and fever are a result of the same triggers (e.g. major surgery)
  2. Affected lung side or lobe
    1. Diminished respiratory movements
    2. Diminished breath sounds
    3. Dullness to percussion
  3. Tracheal displacement toward affected side

VIII. Imaging

  1. See Atelectasis on Chest XRay
  2. Chest XRay
    1. Lung opacity in affected area
    2. Shifted mediastinum to affected side
    3. Elevated diaphragm on affected side
  3. Chest CT
    1. Definitive imaging of obstructive lesions

IX. Management

  1. Incentive Spirometry
  2. Relieve obstruction (e.g. Lung Mass, Foreign Body Aspiration, mucus plugging)
  3. Analgesics or Regional Anesthesia if Splinting due to pain
    1. See Rib Fracture

X. References

  1. Broder (2021) Crit Dec Emerg Med 35(6): 12-3

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Related Studies

Ontology: Atelectasis (C0004144)

Definition (MSH) Absence of air in the entire or part of a lung, such as an incompletely inflated neonate lung or a collapsed adult lung. Pulmonary atelectasis can be caused by airway obstruction, lung compression, fibrotic contraction, or other factors.
Definition (MSHCZE) Nepřítomnost vzduchu v celých plicích nebo jejich části např. u nedovyvinutých plic novorozence nebo při plicním kolapsu dospělých. Plicní atelektáza může být způsobená vzduchovou obstrukcí, plicní kompresí, fibrózním zmnožením tkáně (kolapsová plicní indurace) nebo z jiné příčiny.
Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

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.

Causes of a collapsed lung include

  • Lung diseases such as pneumonia or lung cancer
  • Being on a breathing machine
  • Surgery on the chest or abdomen
  • A blocked airway

If only a small area of the lung is affected, you may not have symptoms. If a large area is affected, you may feel short of breath and have a rapid heart rate.

A chest x-ray can tell if you have it. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Definition (NCI_CTCAE) A disorder characterized by the collapse of part or the entire lung.
Definition (NCI) The collapse of part or the entire lung due to airway obstruction, infection, tumor, or general anesthesia.
Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) Failure of the lung to expand (inflate) completely. This may be caused by a blocked airway, a tumor, general anesthesia, pneumonia or other lung infections, lung disease, or long-term bedrest with shallow breathing. Sometimes called a collapsed lung.
Definition (CSP) collapse of all or part of a lung due to bronchial plugging or the chest cavity being opened to atomspheric pressure.
Concepts Pathologic Function (T046)
MSH D001261
ICD9 518.0
ICD10 J98.1 , J98.11
SnomedCT 308174005, 155622000, 266409009, 196142008, 266369005, 46621007
LNC LA7416-6
English Atelectases, PULMONARY COLLAPSE, ATELECTASIS, Pulmon collapse - atelectasis, Atelectasis, atelectasis (diagnosis), atelectasis, collapse of lung (diagnosis), collapse of lung, Atelectases, Pulmonary, Pulmonary Atelectases, Pulmonary Atelectasis, Lung Collapse, Collapse, Lung, Atelectasis, Pulmonary, Lobar collapse, Pulmonary Atelectasis [Disease/Finding], collapsed lungs, lung collapse, pulmonary atelectasis, atelectases, collapsed lung, pulmonary collapse, collapsing lungs, lobar collapse, Collapse of lung (disorder), (Pulmonary collapse - atelactasis) or (atelectasis) or (collapse - lung), (Pulmonary collapse - atelactasis) or (atelectasis) or (collapse - lung) (disorder), Pulmonary collapse-atelactasis, Atelectasis (& with pulmonary collapse), Pulmonary collapse with atelectasis (disorder), Collapse - lung, Atelectasis (& with pulmonary collapse) (disorder), Lung tissue collapsed, Collapsed lung, Collapsed Lung, Pulmonary collapse, Collapse of lung, Pulmonary atelectasis, Pulmonary collapse with atelectasis, Atelectasis (disorder), collapse; lung, collapse; pulmonary, lung; collapse, pulmonary; collapse, Atelectasis, NOS, Collapse of lung NOS
French ATELECTASIE, Affaissement lombaire, COLLAPSUS PULMONAIRE, Atélectasie, Atélectasie pulmonaire, Collapsus du poumon, Collapsus pulmonaire
Portuguese ATELECTASIA, Colapso lobar, COLAPSO PULMONAR, Atelectasia Pulmonar, Colapso Pulmonar, Colapso do pulmão, Colapso pulmonar, Atelectasia
Spanish ATELECTASIA, Colapso lobular, COLAPSO PULMONAR, Atelectasia Pulmonar, Colapso Pulmonar, Colapso del pulmón, Colapso pulmonar, atelectasia (trastorno), atelectasia, colapso del pulmón, colapso pulmonar, Atelectasia
Italian Atelettasia, Collasso lobare, Atelettasia polmonare, Atelectasia polmonare, Collasso polmonare
Dutch samenvallen longkwab, longcollaps, collaps; long, collaps; pulmonaal, long; collaps, pulmonaal; collaps, Longcollaps, atelectase, Atelectase
German Lappenkollaps, ATELECTASIS, LUNGENATELEKTASE, Lungenkollaps, Atelektase
Japanese 肺葉虚脱, ムキハイ, ハイヨウキョダツ, 鬱血性無気肺, 無気肺-鬱血性, 無気肺, アテレクターゼ, 無気肺-うっ血性, うっ血性無気肺, ハイキョダツ, 肺拡張不全, 肺虚脱
Swedish Lungkollaps
Czech atelektáza, plíce - atelektáza, Kolaps plicního laloku, Atelektáza, plicní atelektáza, Plicní kolaps, Kolaps plíce, kolaps plíce, atelektáza plic, kolaps plic
Finnish Atelektaasi
Korean 폐허탈
Polish Niedodma płuc zastoinowa, Niedodma płuc, Niedodma uciskowa, Niedodma zastoinowa, Niedodma resorpcyjna, Niedodma, Niedodma płuc pooperacyjna, Zapadnięcie się płuca
Hungarian Lobaris collapsus, Atelectasia, Tüdő collapsus, Tüdőcollapsus
Norwegian Atelektase, Lungekollaps, Pulmonal kollaps, Pulmonal atelektase