BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Emphysema. Coloured computed tomography (CT) scan of an axial section through the upper chest, showing a lung diseased with emphysema. The aorta (pink) can be seen at the centre of the scan. The branching tracks of the bronchioles are visible in the two lungs. Emphysema is a disease caused by heavy smoking in which the tiny air sacs of the lung, or alveoli, become enlarged and the walls separating them damaged. Here, healthy lung tissue is pink and red, while areas where alveoli have died are dark purple. The reduced surface area for gaseous exchange restricts oxygen uptake. This may cause breathlessness, bluish skin, oedema, and heart or respiratory failure.
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