What Is Centriacinar Emphysema?
One of the categories of workers that is most susceptible to emphysema, in all its varieties, is coal workers. The form known as centriacinar emphysema is so named because the abnormal air spaces created are usually located near the secondary lobules of the lung.
Chronic Airflow Obstruction (CAO)
Centriacinar emphysema is the most prevalent cause of CAO. Statistically, it is more common among men than women, and not just coal miners. Anyone who smokes cigarettes or cigars is also highly susceptible to the disease, which dilates and destroys the respiratory bronchioles.
Centriacinar emphysema is one of more prevalent forms of the disease, each named for the region of the lung that it affects. It denigrates the respiratory bronchioles, causing them to enlarge abnormally and in some cases lead to a breakage of the bronchiole walls. Panacinar emphysema affects the whole lung; distal acinar emphysema zeroes in on the alveolar ducts; and irregular emphysema, per its moniker, is more haphazard.
Computer Aided Research
In recent decades, the power of computing has greatly aided researchers trying to fathom the intricacies of a disease like emphysema. No longer do they have to wait strictly until a human autopsy, to analyze and measure lung damage. This process can now be duplicated and simulated.
By setting up centriacinar and panacinar emphysema research models on a computer, scientists have been able to better evaluate the way lung airflow is reduced, enlarged and diverted. In the case of one particular lab experiment, bolstered by posthumous computer analysis, groups of mice were exposed to different periods of smoke inhalation. The animals were then killed and their lungs removed.
The power of computing in this case allowed for more accurate and extensive reads of the lung damage, allowing for comparisons between the different levels of mice exposure to the smoke, and therefore, hard correlation data about the impact of a destructive nicotine habit in the form of the emphysema strand.