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Sarcoidosis

Granuloma and Trouble Breathing

06/02/2009

Question:

In 1982 I had a chest xray which discovered signs of granulatomis. In 1999 when I had to take a lung function test and nearly failed. I have been very active all my life and have noticed a decline in my aerobic level. I have been living at 7400 feet for the past 6 years and still do not feel aclimated. I run 20 miles a week and bike another 40. I get out of breath quickly , having issues drawing a deep breath. Could there be a connection between these symptoms and he granuloma? 52-year-old female

Answer:

The findings of "granulomas" on a CXR is very non-specific and could relate to remote infections, occupational exposures, sarcoidosis or other causes. A few calcified granulomas (such as would be reported by a radiologist and likely related to previous infection) would not cause a problem, but other diseases could progress and cause worsening lung damage. This could result in shortness of breath, as you describe.

Shortness of breath may relate to causes outside of the lungs, including heart disease, pulmonary vascular disease, anemia or deconditioning. Your active lifestyle suggests that deconditioning is not the problem.

Considering all of these variables, it makes sense to see a doctor for a complete physical exam and other testing as deemed appropriate.

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Response by:

Elliott D Crouser, MD Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University