Air bronchogram – Mechanism, Causes

  • Air bronchogram refers to the visualisation of air filled bronchus when the surrounding alveoli are opacified


  • Pulmonary consolidation
  • Pulmonary oedema
  • ARDS
  • Hyaline membrane disease
  • Alveolar cell carcinoma
  • Alveolar proteinosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Lymphoma


  • Normally the lung fields are radioluscent and the bronchi are not separately visualised
  • But in the above mentioned conditions, there is opacification of the alveoli due to various reasons (eg: fluid accumulation is pulmonary oedema)
  • Due to this reason, the bronchi stands out as radioluscent in contrast to the adjacent alveoli that are radio opaque
  • Visualisation of air bronchogram helps in identifying the underlying pathology

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