Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
PA and lateral views of the chest are the best way to distinguish between the various causes.
A foreign body in the airwya will have a variable appearance, depending on whether the foreign body is completely or partially obstructing the airway. Classically the foreign body will cause air trapping on expiration.
A bacterial pneumonia as will appear as an area of consolidation, perhaps with a pleural effusion.
A viral pneumonia will appear as a hyperinflated chest, perhaps with patchy areas of atelectasis.
Asthma will appear as a hyperinflated chest, perhaps with patchy areas of atelectasis and pneumomediastinum.
See References Chapter.
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