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Incidence of emphysema at necropsy as assessed by point-counting
  1. P. S. Hasleton
  1. Department of Pathology, University of Liverpool


    The lungs from an unselected group of necropsies were fixed in inflation by boiling formaldehyde vapour, and the percentage of emphysema was determined by macroscopic point-counting. The emphysema was categorized into alveolar, centrilobular, bullous, and `mixed'. The term `mixed' emphysema was applied to cases which had a combination of two or all of the three forms.

    Quantitative criteria were used in the diagnosis of emphysema. `Significant' emphysema was defined as destruction of the lung parenchyma by 5% or more of centrilobular or 10% or more of alveolar or bullous emphysema.

    Using these criteria, the overall incidence of emphysema in both sexes was 24%, the incidence in men being 35% and in women 9%. Alveolar emphysema was present in 25% of males and in 3% of females. The corresponding figures for centrilobular emphysema were 6% and 3%. Comparison of the present investigation with other studies suggests that there are geographical differences in the incidence of the alveolar and centrilobular forms of the disease.

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