ICU Chest Films > Lung Processes > Atelectasis > Left Upper Lobe

Left Upper Lobe Atelectasis

The left lung lacks a middle lobe and therefore a minor fissure, so left upper lobe atelectasis presents a different picture from that of the right upper lobe collapse. The result is predominantly anterior shift of the upper lobe in left upper lobe collapse, with loss of the left upper cardiac border. The expanded lower lobe will migrate to a location both superior and posterior to the upper lobe in order to occupy the vacated space. As the lower lobe expands, the lower lobe artery shifts superiorly. The left mainstem bronchus also rotates to a nearly horizontal position.

This patient suffered from left upper lobe atelectasis following right upper lobectomy.

© Copyright Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia 2013