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?


Community Answers
  • Erin Rush moderator
    2 years ago

    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 — https://copd.net/living/bloating-part-1/. Please let us know if you have any further questions! We are happy to help in any way we can

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    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.

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