Bronchial atresia: a recognizable entity in the pediatric age group

J Pediatr Surg. 1978 Dec;13(6D):682-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(78)80114-6.


Bronchial atresia, a congenital lesion that develops after the 16th wk of fetal life, may be more common than previously believed, and this probably explains some cases of so-called congenital lobar emphysema. It may produce symptoms of pulmonary infection, wheezing, and respiratory distress severe enough to justify elective resection of that part of the lung distal to the atresia. The roentgenographic features that make this a recognizable entity are the following: (1) There is localized hyperinflation of lung in a segmental or lobar distribution, with a circular or oval parahilar radiodensity. Bronchography will demonstrate that there is no filling of the bronchus supplying this part of the lung. (2) The occasional neonate with this condition may present with an intrathoracic mass suggesting retained fetal lung fluid in lobar distribution. Bronchography will demonstrate that there is no filling of the bronchus to that part of the lung. (3) A plug of desquamated tissue and mucus in the cyst-like bronchus just distal to the point of atresia appears to be an unvarying component of the syndrome. It most commonly presents as a round or oval density, but in some cases it may be shaped like a rod or tree and rarely contains an air-fluid level.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchi / abnormalities*
  • Bronchi / pathology
  • Bronchi / surgery
  • Bronchography*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology*