Stulbarg, Michael S. Chest Clinic, Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, California.
Last reviewed:February 2021
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A pathology characterized by abnormal enlargement of air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles in the lung. Emphysema (see illustration) is a pathologic condition distinguished by loss of elasticity of the lung. The primary cause of this loss of elasticity is the destruction of elastin, which is an important structural protein in the lung's supporting connective tissue. The term emphysema is often used imprecisely to refer to any member of the group of illnesses known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and nonallergic asthma. The collective term obstructive pulmonary disease arises because many patients have elements of all three diseases. Although histological examination of lung tissue from surgical specimens or at autopsy is the only definitive diagnostic method, advances in physiological testing and radiologic techniques usually make an earlier diagnosis possible. See also: Connective tissue; Connective tissue disease; Elastin; Lung; Respiratory system disorders
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information