Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung. It is often characterized as including inflammation of the parenchyma of the lung (that is, the alveoli) and abnormal alveolar filling with fluid (consolidation and exudation).
The alveoli are microscopic air filled sacs in the lungs responsible for gas exchange. Pneumonia can result from a variety of causes, including infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, and chemical or physical injury to the lungs. Its cause may also be officially described as unknown when infectious causes have been excluded.
An important test for pneumonia in unclear situations is a chest x-ray. Chest x-rays can reveal areas of opacity (seen as white) which represent consolidation. Pneumonia is not always seen on x-rays, either because the disease is only in its initial stages, or because it involves a part of the lung not easily seen by x-ray. In some cases, chest CT (computed tomography) can reveal pneumonia that is not seen on chest x-ray. X-rays can be misleading, because other problems, like lung scarring and congestive heart failure, can mimic pneumonia on x-ray. Chest x-rays are also used to evaluate for complications of pneumonia .
A very prominent pneumonia of the middle lobe of the right lung.
Left lower lobe pneumonia associated with a small left sided pleural effusion.
AP CXR showing right lower lobe pneumonia.
A lateral CXR showing right lower lobe pneumonia
Pneumonia of the lingula of the left lung on CXR.
Right upper lobe pneumonia as marked by the circle.
CT of the chest demonstrating right sided pneumonia.
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