Giant bullae may be found in association with emphysema. They present as pockets of entrapped air which grow as the surrounding lung retracts away. As they do not take part in gas exchange and merely occupy space, their presence leads to severe impediment of mechanical ventilation in the adjacent lung parenchyma. Patients may present with dyspnoea, exercise intolerance and a feeling of pressure in the chest. The case of a 54 year old gentleman is presented, who was found to have a giant bulla occupying his left hemithorax on a routine chest X-ray. The patient remained asymptomatic despite the large size of the bulla and was treated with surgical resection via thoracotomy i.e. Bullectomy which is the treatment of choice. If left untreated the condition can be complicated by pneumothorax, infection and a slow progression to malignant changes.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
(2012). Asymptomatic presentation of giant bulla of the left apical and anterior segment of the left upper lobe of the lung with near complete atelectasis of the remaining left lung. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 62(2), 165-6.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_surg_cardiothoracic/5