78 year old female current smoker presents with wheeze, productive cough and breathlessness worsening over 6 days.
Describe and interpret this CXR
CHEST X-RAY INTERPRETATION
Non-infective exacerbation COPD
The lung fields are overinflated with flattened hemidiagragms consistent with airways disease and COPD.
No focal consolidation to suggest pneumonia.
The flattened hemidiaphragms are a sign of overinflation from gas trapping from the emphysema.
Attempts to increase tidal volume are usually offset by a reduction in expiratory time – leading to dynamic hyperinflation.
Exacerbation of COPD – associated with sustained falls in FEV1.
Attempts to mitigate this with early physio and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are critical to avoid permanent loss of lung function.