Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 383–390 | Cite as

Imaging findings of bronchial atresia in fetuses, neonates and infants

  • Leonor AlamoEmail author
  • Yvan Vial
  • Carole Gengler
  • Reto Meuli
Pictorial Essay


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.


Congenital lung malformation Fetus Infant Magnetic resonance imaging Prenatal diagnosis Ultrasound 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonor Alamo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yvan Vial
    • 2
  • Carole Gengler
    • 3
  • Reto Meuli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) and University of Lausanne (UNIL)LausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) and University of Lausanne (UNIL)LausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) and University of Lausanne (UNIL)LausanneSwitzerland

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