Evaluation of the emphysematous patient.
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Most of the patients with emphysema complain of dyspnea and become limited in their activities during the course of the disease. Dyspnea is probably due to the change in the configuration of the thorax which is secondary to hyperinflation. The investigation should include the radiologic quantification of the structural abnormalities of the lungs and the functional consequences of these changes. When volume reduction of the lung is considered, the effects of hyperinflation on the mechanic of breathing and the ventilatory response to exercise has to be investigated rigorously.
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