The original report of acute massive atelectasis was made by Pasteur,1 who reported the condition as a complication of diphtheria. Bradford,2 following the World War, again stimulated interest in the subject as a complication of thoracic trauma. Since this contribution, numerous articles have appeared in the medical literature dealing with acute massive atelectasis as a complication in various conditions, particularly as a postoperative complication.
Acute massive atelectasis has been reported as a complication in meningitis,3 tuberculosis,4 asthma,5 poliomyelitis,6 pneumonia7 and suppuration of the lung8 and in other conditions that cause collapse of the lung by extrabronchial or intrabronchial obstruction, such as foreign bodies in a bronchus,9 aneurysm of the aorta,10 intrabronchial tumor,11 carcinoma of the lung12 and enlargement of the thymus gland.13
The condition is found most frequently in adults. Cases of atelectasis occurring in early life,
BLANTON JL, MORGAN GV. ACUTE MASSIVE ATELECTASIS COMPLICATING PNEUMONIA: IN AN INFANT FIVE WEEKS OLD. Am J Dis Child. 1934;47(5):1070–1079. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1934.01960120128010
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