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Lung diseases

Reticulo-nodular Infiltrates

05/06/2011

Question:

What is reticulo-nodular infiltrates & lobulated mass lesion? Riticulo nodular infiltrates are noted in the right lower lobe and lobulated mass lesion in the right parahilar region that measures 5.1x4.5 cm. Just scared of the result because after several x-ray and CT exam, still the result is not clear. They advised to do a biopsy. I just want to know if what are those and the possible cause. I don`t use cigar as well. thank you!..


Answer:

Reticular means areas of linear abnormalities, in other words, areas on the x-ray or CT scan that look like little lines. Nodular means rounded spots. So reticulo-nodular means abnormalities on the x-ray or CT that have both small spots plus little lines. There are many conditions that can cause reticulo-nodular infiltrates including infections, interstitial lung disease, and cancers.

A lobulated mass means an irregular shaped mass (very large spot) on the lungs. Again, there are many things that can cause masses in the lungs including cancer, infections, and immunologic lung diseases.

For both masses and reticulo-nodular infiltrates, a lung biopsy is often used to determine the cause of the abnormalities. There are several ways of doing a biopsy including a CT-guided needle biopsy (when a needle is passed between the ribs into the mass using the CT machine as a guide), a bronchoscopic biopsy (when a physician inserts a scope into the windpipe to remove a small piece of the mass), and a surgical biopsy (when a surgeon opens the chest and removes the mass or biopsies the mass under direct visualization). The type of biopsy will usually be chosen by the physicians depending on the size and location of the mass.

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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