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Imaging findings of bronchial atresia in fetuses, neonates and infants.
Congenital lung malformations are increasingly detected before birth. However, bronchial atresia is rarely identified in utero and not always recognized in neonates. There are two types of atresia: 1) proximal, located at the level of the mainstem or the proximal lobar bronchi, which is extremely rare and usually lethal during pregnancy, causing a tremendous volume increase of the distal involved lung with secondary hypoplasia of the normal lung, and 2) peripheral, located at the segmental/subsegmental bronchial level, which may present as an isolated lesion or as part of a complex congenital malformation. Prenatal findings are mostly nonspecific. Postnatal exams show overinflated lung areas and focal bronchial dilations. The typical fluid-filled bronchoceles are not always observed in neonates but develop progressively in the first months of life. This pictorial essay describes the spectrum of imaging findings of bronchial atresia in fetuses, neonates and infants.
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