JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pulmonary emphysema. Artwork showing a section through two bronchiole tubes (pink) of the lung of an emphysema sufferer. Cigarette smoke (grey), mucus (white) and white blood cells (brown) are seen emerging from the airways. In emphysema, the lung's tiny air sacs (alveoli, upper centre) become damaged, and enlarge as their walls become thinner and break. This reduces gas exchange, causing shortness of breath and sometimes heart or respiratory failure. Emphysema is usually due to cigarette smoking and is incurable. The mucus in the bronchioles is produced due to irritation by the cigarette smoke.
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