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Lung diseases

Very Concerned about Lung Infiltrate

11/18/2010

Question:

HI, IM A 49 YEAR OLD WHITE MALE SMOKER OF 32 YEARS. NEVER HAD ANY SERIUOS CONDITONS OR PHNEMONIA.I ALSO TAKE NO MEDICATIONS FOR ANYTHING NOR DRINK ALCOHOL. I RECENTLY HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A LONG TIME ONGOING SINUS INFECTION AND STARTED HAVIN SOME BLOOD PRESSURE SPIKES. I WENT TO THE ER AND THEY PERFORMED NUMEROUS BLOOD TESTS CBC, CHEMISTRY TEST CARDIAC ENZYMES AND BLOOD CLOT TESTS, MY OXYGEN SAT WAS 99% AND THEY ALSO TOOK 3 VIEWS OF MY CHEST WITH A STANDARD CHEST XRAY .THE RESULTS OF ALL THE BLOOD TEST WERE NORMAL AND PERECT, BUT THEY SAID I HAD A SUBTLE INFITRATE IN MY LOWER RIGHT LOBE OF MY RIGHT LUNG AND TO FOLLOW UP WITH MY PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR TO REPEAT THE XRAY. THEY SAID THEY DIDNT SUSPECT PHEMONIA BECAUSE ALL MY BLOOD TEST WERE NORMAL. NO FEVER EITHER IM SCARED THIS MIGHT BE CANCER. CAN YOU MAYBE GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT ON THIS BEFORE I SEE MY PRIMARY DOCTOR [PLEASE) ALSO THEY HAD ME MONITORED WITH A EKG THE WHOLE TIME I WAS IN THE ER AND THAT WAS ALSO NORMAL


Answer:

There are many causes of infiltrates in the lung, such as infection (new or old), scarring (fibrosis), inflammation and sometimes cancer. These can all appear the same on a chest x-ray. 
 
Finding the cause often depends on the timing and nature of a patient's symptoms and further testing such as follow up x-rays to see if the abnormality goes away, CT scans, blood tests and sometimes tests such as a bronchoscopy or a lung biopsy are necessary to get a sample from the lung. To determine the cause of your lung infiltrates, you should contact your physician for further evaluation.

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Response by:

Nitin Y Bhatt, MD Nitin Y Bhatt, MD
Clinical Assisstant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University