CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Emphysema. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of human lung tissue affected by bullous emphysema. Emphysema is a disease in which the tiny air sacs (alveoli) of the lung become enlarged and the walls separating them are damaged. In bullous emphysema, the enlarged air spaces measure over 1 centimetre in diameter and are known as bullae. The reduced surface area for gaseous exchange restricts oxygen uptake. This may cause breathlessness, bluish skin, and heart or respiratory failure. Occurrence of emphysema is strongly associated with smoking. Treatment of emphysema is with drugs and the cessation of smoking.
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