Emphysema is a pathologic condition of the lung which is characterized by permanent expansion of airspaces distal to the terminal bronchiole. The walls of the airspaces are destroyed but without fibrosis (scarring).

Although the definition of emphysema describes the basic pathology, this disease can be further divided into four subgroups based on the part of the respiratory acinus (lobule) which is damaged and the location of these damaged lobules within the lung. (Refer to Figures 15-8 and 15-9 in your textbook).


Progressive dyspnea, over inflated lungs, barrel chest, hyperresonance, and distant breath sounds.