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Left Upper Lobe Atelectasis

Chest X-ray Findings

Opacification

When presented with an x-ray of a patient with left upper lobe atelectasis, the first finding that you may notice is an area of increased opacification. Atelectasis of the left upper lobe results in a hazy veil-like opacity over the left lung that fades out inferiorly without a clear lower border.

Silhouette Sign

Collapse of the left upper lobe results in effacement of the left upper heart border; obscuring the interface between the lung and heart. This is referred to as the silhouette sign.

Decreased Lung Volume

Atelectasis may also result in signs of decreased lung volume, which in cases of left upper lobar collapse can include ipsilateral tracheal deviation and elevation of the left hilum.


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