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What does "long lungs" mean?

My husband has COPD and a while ago had to have an x-ray, they told him that they had to take 2 because his lungs are long. What does "long lungs" mean?

  1. Ok. I had a Navy physical before I went on deployment in 2010. They said I have long lungs from the X-rays. I do not have a COPD symptoms but when I was younger I had always pushed myself to swim the farthest on a single breathe. Eventually I was able to go the length of an Olympic size pool and back on a single breathe. Would that in time stretch my lungs or make them long? I am now 52 and still have great lung capacity.

    1. Hi bjadams67, and thank you for joining in this conversation. While we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), your comment certainly deserves a reply.
      Your training when you were younger sounds more like an increase of strength, endurance and breathing capacity rather than an actual physical change to the structure of the lung. To be certain, you may want to run this past your personal physician for his/her opinion. Please do check back and let us know what you are able to determine, if you don't mind.
      Wishing you well,
      Leon (site moderator)

  2. In general, with COPD, lungs are 'hyperinflated' due to obstruction or 'air trapping'. This is the nature of the disease. When lungs are 'longer', it may be necessary to take two xrays; one for the upper portion and then one for the lower portion. In that way the radiologist or pulmonologist can get a more complete view of the entire lung. I hope this brief explanation has been helpful for you.

    1. The term 'long lungs' describes when the lungs become permanently extended, usually from constant hyperinflation caused by emphysema. When someone's lungs become 'long', two x-rays are required to get a full picture of the lungs. One x-ray for the top part of the lungs and one for the lower part. I hope this answers your question. This article by one of our contributors discusses long lungs, along with the bloating long lungs can cause -- Please let us know if you have any further questions! We are happy to help in any way we can

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