Right Middle Lobe Syndrome

What is right middle lobe syndrome?

Right middle lobe syndrome (RMLS) generally refers to atelectasis in the right middle lobe of the lung.


Symptoms begin in early childhood, usually in children from one to two years old. Symptom frequency decreases in later childhood, but the interval between onset of symptoms and diagnosis widely varies. The most common symptoms include:

  • Persistent or recurrent cough

  • Intermittent wheezing

  • Dyspnea

  • History of recurrent or chronic pneumonia


  • Right middle lobe syndrome is essentially a radiographic diagnosis, and physical findings widely vary.

  • Auscultation of the lungs may reveal a fine wheeze, rales or diffuse rhonchi, ranging from decreased aeration and dullness to percussion in the region of the right middle lobe.


Chest physical therapy and postural drainage are the hallmarks of therapy.

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