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Hyperinflation or hyperaeration is the condition of the lungs, particularly the alveoli or air sacs overfilling with air during inhalation, resulting in abnormally large lung volume. On an x-ray this will make the lungs look less substantial (brighter) as the x-rays will pass through the lungs more easily, there will be fewer landmarks on the x-ray indicating the parts of the lung, and the diaphragm will be abnormally depressed.
Although hyperinflation can be a sign in increase in lung mass, it is generally the result of a partial obstruction or closure of one of the large airways, congenital lobar emphysema, or a mucous plug from asthma.