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Abscess of the Lung



A circumscribed accumulation of matter or pus in the struct ure of the lung, following general inflammation, or produced by some local irritation, such as the deposition of tubercle. It is occasionally produced by the presence of some foreign substance that has been lodged in the lung.

Gangrene of the Lung.

Gangrene or mortification of the lung structure usually occur ring in the last stages of the worst forms of pneumonia, and in rarer instances from obstructed circulation. It is almost always a fatal disease when it extends over a large surface even of one lung. The affection seems to have been more prevalent in former days than it is at present.

Passive Pulmonary Congestion.

Passive congestion of the lung is a condition in which there is stasis or arrest of the circulation of blood from the right to the left side of the heart through the lung, in the course of the pul monic circuit: The lung, in this instance, is engorged with blood in the affected parts. Pulmonary congestion is brought on by causes whicli lead to weakness or palsy of the minute vessels of the pulmonic circulation from withdrawal or reduction of nervous stimulus; or by weakness of the right side of the heart; or by obstruction of the left side. It is induced actively, by sudden ex posure to cold; by over-fatigue; by the action of some narcotic agents; by long-continued use of alcoholic drinks; and by suffo cation. The most common immediate cause is exposure to cold in persons whose pulmonic circulation is already enfeebled or diseased.

Haemoptysis. Spitting of Blood.

Loss of blood from the lungs is what is commonly conveyed under the term haemoptysis. Literally, the term means spitting of blood, but the source of the loss is so frequently from the lungs the phenomenon is as a rule connected with those organs. Loss of blood from the lungs is active or passive. Active, when pure blood is directly and rapidly given out; passive, when the blood, in small quantities, tinges other expectorated fluids. It occurs in the active form, from rupture of a vessel, or from great congestion of the lungs. It occurs in the passive form, from partial conges tion or inflammation of the lung. It is a common accompanying symptom of pulmonary phthisis or consumption in both the early and the late stages of that malady.

Pulmonary Extravasation or Apoplexy.

An extravasation of blood from the vessels of the lung into the spongy structure. It takes place either from extreme con gestion of the blood-vessels, or from rupture of them. Pulmonary apoplexy is often attended by passive, and sometimes by active or spitting of blood.

Edema of the Lung.

(Edema or dropsy of the lung is a state in which the watery part of the blood is diffused into the structure of the lungs. (Edema is usually the result of obstruction to the return of ve nous blood in the blood-vessels which supply the lungs with the blood required for their own sustainment, that is to say, the nu tritive vessels of the lungs proper, as distinct from the vessels of the pulmonary artery.

Cirrhosis of the Lung.

A rare disease, in which the tissue of the lung in the whole, or in parts, is cirrhosed or hardened from condensation of the connective tissue. The disease is most commonly met with in per sons who have indulged freely in alcoholic drinks.

Emphysema of the A condition in which the lung structure is inflated with air beyond the natural filling of the elastic air vesicles during the act of inspiration. Literally it is a passive distention of the lung structure with air, and in a minor degree is analogous to the dis tention which the butcher produces in the lungs of a dead animal by blowing into them forcibly in order to inflate them before he suspends them in the shambles. There are two varieties of em physema.

(a) The vesicular, in which the air vesicles themselves are dis tended and dilated.

(b) The interlobular, in which the air has escaped from the vesicles, owing to accidental rupture of them, and has diffused through the connective tissues and lobular structure of the lungs. It is this form of artificial emphysema the butcher produces in the lungs of the dead animal, and in the human subject it is com monly the result of accidents leading to great strain, as in the strain of cough in whooping-cough and asthma. The most ordi nary form of emphysema is that in which the air vesicles are dis tended and broken the one into the other. Men and animals so affected are said vulgarly to be " broken winded," and the term is wonderfully expressive. In aged people, in whom the elastic tis sues of the body are much impaired and are wanting in resilience, emphysema is of such common occurrence that the term " senile emphysema " has been employed to distinguish it as a disease that has resulted from old age.

Atelectasis of Lung.

A term signifying deficient expansion of the lung by breath ing, and applied to the lungs of a child after birth, when the act of breathing has not been perfected. The lung structure, wanting inflation by air, is condensed, heavy, and sinks in water.

blood, lungs, air, passive, structure, pulmonary and emphysema