Emphysema

  • Symptoms
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chronic cough with or without sputum production
    • Wheezing
    • Decreased ability to exercise
    Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease include the following:
    • Anxiety
    • Unintentional weight loss
    • Ankle, feet, and leg swelling
    • Fatigue

    Signs and tests

    A physical examination may show wheezing, decreased breath sounds, or prolonged exhalation (exhalation takes more than twice as long as inspiration). The chest may be barrel-shaped. There may be signs of chronically insufficient oxygen levels in the blood.

    These tests help confirm the diagnosis:

    • Pulmonary function tests
    • Chest x-ray
    • Arterial blood gases showing low levels of oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia), and high levels of carbon dioxide ( respiratory acidosis)

    This disease may also alter the results of the following tests:

    • Pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan
    • Chest CT scan