Bronchial spasms

Lung infiltration: What are the causes?

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There are various causes of lung infiltration. Certain lung ailments such as silicosis, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis and asbestosis often cause the air sacs to be filled with fluids made of cancer cells, white blood cells, pus, blood or proteins which are called as infiltrates.

Depending on the seriousness of the condition, these infiltrates might affect a small region of the lung and cause minor symptoms. In some cases, they might fill an entire region completely which results to life-threatening conditions.


Various bacteria can result to pneumonia. The usual cause of bacterial pneumonia is streptococcus pneumoniae.

This is a bacterial infection that is not limited to the lung but also involve other body parts. The lungs are significantly inflamed which results to varying degrees of irreversible damage despite treatment.

The initial symptoms include coughing with mucus and fever. The buildup of pus in the pleural space or empyema also occurs.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome

This is a serious ailment that typically leads to respiratory failure. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a non-specific disease linked to severe pneumonia, sepsis, shock and trauma. The condition often necessities immediate medical care due to respiratory insufficiency.

The airs sacs are filled with fluid from the infection. This results to significant disability of the lungs to collect and distribute oxygen to the cells. The lungs stiffen and there is difficulty in ventilating which results to severe shortness of breath.


Various bacteria can result to pneumonia. The usual cause of bacterial pneumonia is streptococcus pneumoniae. The signs often include headache, fever, appetite loss, sweating and muscle and joint pain.

Chest pain, coughing and shortness of breath soon arise as the alveoli become inflamed from the infection. The scattered infiltrates show a significant influx of white blood cells that attack the invading bacteria, generating pus. Individuals with the infection often cough up greenish or yellowish mucus that is oftentimes streaked with blood.

Pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema is the buildup of fluid in the lung tissue and alveoli due to the increased pressure inside the capillaries which results to leakage.

The condition is often triggered by heart disease, heart failure, hypertension and kidney failure. It can also develop from inhalation of toxic gases and shock. The lungs are filled with pinkish, frothy secretions that significantly limits the ability to breathe. If not properly treated, the individual essentially drowns on his/her secretions.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on lung infiltration is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications by taking a standard first aid course with Red Deer First Aid.

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