MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Light micrograph showing the appearance of lung alveolar tissue in a case of pulmonary emphysema. The white areas on the image are enlarged & damaged alveoli, the air sacs of the lung where gaseous exchange occurs through blood capillaries in the alveolar walls. In emphysema the alveolar spaces are enlarged permanently, accompanied by a varying degree of destruction of the alveolar walls. The reduction in capacity for gaseous exchange is compounded by a loss of elastic support that may cause the airways to collapse during expiration. Resulting breathlessness may require oxygen; there is no treatment. Magnification: X50 (5x4 size), X 15 (35mm size).
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