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low lung volumes with subsegmental atelectasis
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low lung volumes with subsegmental atelectasis

I had an x-ray ap and lateral views thoracic spine I have the report and they found the above. Can you please explain to me what does this mean in laymans language.
242587_tn?1355427710
Lung size/volume varies in accordance with height, gender and race.  Chest X-rays give a rough or crude estimate of lung size in comparison to what is generally seen for a person of a given body configuration.  There is a wide range of normality.  Collapse (non-aeration) of all or part of a lung is called atelectasis.  A mild degree of this may be seen in normal lungs of persons who, for whatever reason, for example obesity, engage in shallow breathing.  

However, these findings can be an indication of what is called restrictive lung disease, fibrosis or scarring of lungs being an example.  The best way to answer the question of whether these findings are abnormal and a sign of a lung disease that is causing lung shrinkage is to have lung function tests (Spirometry) performed and, with, this examination of your lungs by a doctor using his/her stethoscope.

Your X-ray findings may well not be a sign of abnormal lungs.

Good luck.
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