What Is Centrilobular Emphysema and How Is It Treated?
Centrilobular emphysema (or CTE) is a disease characterized by progressive loss of muscle tissue. The most common symptom is a feeling of tightness or heaviness in your chest. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, numbness, tingling sensations in your hands and feet, difficulty swallowing and coughing up blood.
The condition affects men and women equally, but it is more prevalent in older adults. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the myocardium, which produces the heart muscle cells.
The damage caused results in a gradual decline of cardiac function leading eventually to death.
How Is Centrilobular Emphysema Diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform an examination to rule out other diseases that may cause similar symptoms such as cancer or viral infections like Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). They will then take blood samples to test for various substances including proteins, enzymes, antibodies and even certain types of white blood cells. Your doctor may also order imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.
You may have a CAT scan where they look inside your chest cavity with a high tech camera. These images show how much damage there is in your heart and lungs.
What causes centrilobular emphysema?
The exact cause of centrilobular emphysema is currently unknown. It is believed to be an autoimmune condition in which your body’s immune system attacks and destroys cells in the myocardium (heart muscle), alveoli (lung tissue) and interstitium (tissue that lines the inner organs). This results in progressive organ failure, which can cause death.
Research seems to suggest that certain viruses may trigger the condition in some people. A weakened immune system may also be a risk factor.
What Are The Risk Factors For Centrilobular Emphysema?
There is very little information on the risk factors for centrilobular emphysema, however it is believed that genetics may play a role.
How Is Centrilobular Emphysema Treated?
Unfortunately there is no cure for centrilobular emphysema, but there are ways to manage its symptoms so that you can enjoy a higher quality of life.A combination of drugs such as Theophyline, Prednisone, and Azmacort may be given to ease the inflammation caused by the condition. Since many people will eventually need supplemental oxygen, a supply should be readily available at all times. Your doctor may also recommend undergoing physical therapy to help you cope with the shortness of breath and fatigue.
Sources & references used in this article:
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