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Lung diseases

Noncalcified granulomata

06/02/2009

Question:

My CT scan shoed a few tiny pulmonary nodules which could represent noncalcifed granulomata. Could this be from past pneumonia I had 3 times years ago? If not, what causes it? Thank you.

Answer:

Granulomas are small scars that most commonly result from previous infection. For persons living in the Midwestern United States, the most common cause is a yeast that lives in the dirt and dust called histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis and other infections that can cause granulomas often start off as pneumonia so it is possible that previous pneumonia may have been the cause of the granulomas seen by CT now. The only ways to know for sure that non-calcified nodules (spots) are granulomas are to either biopsy them or find that they are unchanged by CT scans (or x-rays) for at least 2 years.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University