Congenital lobar emphysema: a rare cause of respiratory distress in a neonate


  • Nishant Mittal Department of Pediatrics, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
  • Ankit Parakh Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, BLK Hospital, Delhi, India
  • Prashant Jain Department of Pediatric Surgery, BLK Hospital, Delhi, India
  • N. K. Mittal Mittal Nursing Home, Sonipat, Haryana, India



Congenital anomaly, Congenital lobar emphysema, Lobectomy


Congenital lobar emphysema (CLE) is a congenital condition characterized by distension and air trapping of the affected lobe of the lung. It is one of the causes of infantile respiratory distress, which may require surgical resection of affected lobe. Case characteristics: 3-day-old neonate with ventilation refractory respiratory distress. Imaging was suggestive of decreased lung tissue on the right side with ipsilateral mediastinal shift. Intervention/ outcome: Early surgical lobectomy was done to improve lung functions and the child improved dur to early intervention. Message: An early diagnosis with high index of suspicion helps patients with this rare congenital anomaly. Early intervention is the key to good long-term outcome. More awareness about the entity and treatment options available would greatly help improving the outcome and disease burden.


Stocker JT, Drake RM, Madewell JE. Cystic and congenital lung disease in the newborn. Perspect Pediatr Pathol. 1978;4:93-154.

Landing BH, Dixon LG. Congenital Malformations and Genetic Disorders of the Respiratory Tract: (Larynx, Trachea, Bronchi, and Lungs). Am Rev Resp Dis. 1979;120(1):151-85.

Hernanz-Schulman M. Cysts and cystlike lesions of the lung. Radiologic Clinics North Am. 1993;31(3):631-49.

Cote CJ. The anesthetic management of congenital lobar emphysema. Anesthesiol. 1978;19:296-8.

Bappal B, Ghani SA, Chaudhary R, Sajvani MJ. Congenital lobar emphysema: A review of 10 cases. Indian J Pediatr. 1996;63:801-8.

Franken EA, Buehl I. Infantile lobar emphysema: report of two cases with unusual roentgenographic manifestations. Am J Roentgenol. 1966;98:354-7.

Pariente G, Aviram M, Landau D, Hershkovitz R. Prenatal diagnosis of congenital lobar emphysema: case report and review of the literature. J Ultrasound Med. 2009;28:1081-4.

Tempe DK, Virmani S, Javetkar S, Banerjee A, Puri SK, Datt V. Congenital lobar emphysema: pitfalls and management. Ann Card Anaesth. 2010;13:53-8.

Gorostidi F, de Buys Roessingh A, Gonzalez M, Simon C, Monnier Y. Congenital lobar emphysema presenting as an airway foreign body. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2015;79:2450-2.

Gogia AR, Bajaj JK, Husain F, Mehra V. Anaesthetic management of a case of congenital lobar emphysema. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2011;27:106-8.

Doull IJ, Connett GJ, Wamer JO. Bronchoscopic appearances of congenital lobar emphysema. Pediatr Pulmonol. 1996;21:195-7.

Cay A, Sarihan H. Congenital malformations of the lung. J Cardiovasc Sur (Torino). 2000;41:507-10.

Santra A, Dutta P, Manjhi R, Pothal S. Congenital lobar emphysema presenting at late childhood: A rare case report. Lung India. 2014;31:302-4.

Cataneo DC, Rodrigues OR, Hasimoto EN, Schmidt AF, Jr, Cataneo AJ. Congenital lobar emphysema: 30-year case series in two university hospitals. J Bras Pneumol. 2013;39:418-26.

Tander B, Yalçin M, Yilmaz B, Ali Karadag C, Bulut M. Congenital lobar emphysema: A clinicopathologic evaluation of 14 cases. Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2003;13:108-11.

Nazem M, Hosseinpour M. Evaluation of early and late complications in patients with congenital lobar emphysema: A 12 year experience. Afr J Paediatr Surg. 2010;7:144-6.