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GUNILLA ELAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GUNILLA ELAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Illustration showing the lungs in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, left) and in a healthy person (right). COPD is a common lung disease where breathing is difficult. There are two main forms: chronic bronchitis, whose symptoms include a long-term cough with mucus, and emphysema (the gradual breakdown of the lungs and collapse of the alveoli). Most people with COPD have a combination of both forms. COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung. For a more detailed image, see C030/3939.
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