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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Bibasilar dependent atelectasis
Before a recent surgery for acute appendicitis, a CT showed that "the lung bases demonstrate bibasilar dependent atelectasis." Is this a reason for concern? Should my physician be treating me for this?
Atelectasis means that the lung does not fully expand. There can be many reasons for this, some serious and some not so serious. A frequent cause for atelectasis is not taking deep breaths, often due to pain in the chest or abdomen (such as can happen with appendicitis). If a chest x-ray is normal after the abdominal pain resolves, no additional evaluation is generally required.
James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University