Lung Aging and its Imagiological Changes Lung Aging and its Imagiological Changes

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Sofia Melo - Corresponding Author

Avenida D. João II, nº 24, 4715-304 Braga, Portugal

Catarina Lacerda
Sara F. Fernandes


INTRODUCTION: With the increase in the average of life expectancy, populations reach increasingly late ages. Therefore, it is essencial to make a clear distinction from changes that are considered to be physiological from aging, from pathological ones. The objective of this review was to identify the main imaging abnormalities of the pulmonary parenchyma that appear with aging, present in the thoracic radiography and computed tomography.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The inclusion criteria were articles describing imaging findings in thoracic radiography and computed tomography attributed to aging in the elderly aged 65 years or older. The articles exclusively related to changes in lung function, chest wall and mediastinum were excluded, as well as duplicated articles and written in other languages. In addition, the population could not have current or past smoking history; relevant occupational exposures, eg. work in the asbestos industry; airway obstruction on the spirometry; dyspnea documented by mMRC> 2 or other markers of lung involvement.
RESULTS: There is an increase in a homogeneous pulmonary hyperinflation and air-trapping. Ground glass opacities and the mosaic pattern of the pulmonary parenchyma are also frequent in these populations, but the possibility of underlying pulmonary pathology cannot be ruled out. Diagnosis of bronchiectasis requires proper criteria in the elderly and the pulmonary nodules should be managed according to published guidelines.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: With aging changes in the pulmonary parenchyma are objectified, but the distinction between the pathological and the physiological is still difficult to define.

Keywords: Aging/physiology; Lung/diagnostic imaging; Radiography, Thoracic; Tomography, X-Ray Computed

Article Details

Melo S, Lacerda C, Fernandes SF. Lung Aging and its Imagiological Changes: Lung Aging and its Imagiological Changes. Gaz Med [Internet]. 2019 Sep. 30 [cited 2022 Aug. 10];6(3). Available from: