Emphysema history and symptoms
Emphysema history and symptoms On the Web
American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Emphysema history and symptoms
Emphysema occurs as a result of increased compliance of the lung tissue. After a prolonged period, hyperventilation becomes inadequate to maintain high enough oxygen levels in the blood. Symptoms commonly reflect this.
- Shortness of breath on exertion (typically when climbing stairs or inclines, exercise intolerance and later at rest)
- Expanded chest
Symptoms of Severe Emphysema
- In extreme cases it could lead to cor pulmonale due the extra work required by the heart to get blood to flow through the lungs which may present as
- Cyanosis (bluish decolorization usually in the lips and fingers) caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood
- Patient may have confusion indicating an alteration of mental status.
- Depression may be seen
- Decreased fat-free mass, impaired systemic muscle function (systemic manifestation)
The most helpful information in diagnosis of COPD is provided by a combination of the following 3 signs 
- Self-reported smoking history of more than 55 pack-year
- Wheezing on auscultation
- Self-reported wheezing.
- Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, Weinberger SE, Hanania NA, Criner G, van der Molen T, Marciniuk DD, Denberg T, Schünemann H, Wedzicha W, MacDonald R, Shekelle P (2011). "Diagnosis and management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a clinical practice guideline update from the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society". Annals of Internal Medicine. 155 (3): 179–91. doi:10.1059/0003-4819-155-3-201108020-00008. PMID 21810710. Unknown parameter