Lung atrophy is a chronic condition that affects the Lungs, causing symptoms such as coughing, coughing up blood and pus, excessive saliva, shortness of breath, and weight loss. In traditional Chinese medicine, Lung atrophy is often the result of chronic Lung pathology that gradually worsens over time. The most common precursor to Lung atrophy is a persistent Lung heat or phlegm-heat condition, such as an unresolved lung abscess.
Lung atrophy was first mentioned in Essentials from the Golden Cabinet, which identified two main categories of Lung atrophy: deficiency heat with dryness and deficiency cold. Due to the prevalence of heat and deficiency, the heat and deficiency type is considered more common. In clause 7.1, it is stated that "exhaustion of body fluids is the cause" of Lung atrophy.
Treatment for Lung atrophy is typically palliative and aimed at relieving the most distressing symptoms and improving quality of life. In some cases, Chinese medical intervention can provide relief and improve respiratory function and mobility. However, treatment must be ongoing to maintain any improvements.