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Lung diseases

Ground Glass Infiltrates



I have had respertory issues my whole life. I am a 48yr old white male w/history as a smoker for 35yrs who is a alpha-1 antitrypsin carrier. genotype MZ & phenotype is PI-MZ. I have been told that I have bronchiectasis among multiple other lung issues. I have just received the results of my HR-CT scan of my lungs & it states I have multiple bi-lateral rounded ground-glass infiltrates primarily in the upper lobes & greatest in the lung apices.

I also have a 3.5mm nodule note in the R/lung that we have been watching for 3yrs it has increased slowly in size.

I have a very productive cough that will even wake me in the night to have to choke up & spit. VERY NASTY !!! Can fill well over 8oz volume in a day. I am on advair, flo-vent & neb treatments.

My Mother died @ 63 from a rare type of lung cancer. Ok now for the million $$ question..

I read where you said there should NEVER be any round glass infiltrates in the lung.

So please tell me the real deal here... do I need to be overly concerned? of course I am scared but just how scared do I need to be. What is your advice ? What do I need to do from here?

Any help that you can provide I would like to Thank you in advance..


Let me try to respond to your major concerns. Your history suggests that you have bronchiectasis which is best treated with intermittent antibiotic courses and aggressive efforts to keep your airways drained. This might include postural drainage and percussion in addition to your inhaler regimen.

Regarding the ground glass opacities on HRCT, that is something that I would address with your pulmonologist.

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Response by:

Mark D Wewers, MD Mark D Wewers, MD
Professor of Pulmonology, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics
Environmental Health Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University