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Lung diseases

Scars on the Lungs due to Previous Infection

11/08/2011

Question:

Dear Sir/Madam, Kindly help me with this because it is really very important. I reside in India,I was Infected with TB around 3 Yrs. ago, which was well treated then after a medicine course of 9 months.I was recently offered a Job in the Middle East ,before relocating I was required to get a medical certificate to be cleared of any contagious diseases,At the Diagnostic centre,they found Scars in the X Ray Findings on My upper left lobe due to which they proclaimed me as UNFIT to travel.they say Gulf countries dont allow people with previous history of TB even if they are completely healthy at the moment . Now my question to you- IS THERE ANY MEDICINE THAT CAN HEAL THESE LUNG SCARS OR EVEN REDUCE THEIR PRESENCE IN THE X RAY FINDINGS ?

Answer:

The case described appears to be classic for pulmonary tuberculosis with upper lobe involvement in an endemic area. This appears to have been appropriately treated (although I do not have knowledge of the regimen) with resolution of symptoms and scarring. The time frame appears to be quite significant - 3 years.
 
If no other processes are present, it appears as though the current radiographic picture will be present lifelong. Scar formation in the setting of tuberculosis is the terminal event of healing for this infection.

Medical science currently does not have therapy to change the appearance of this nor would that be therapeutically useful at this point. The presence of scar does not imply infectivity but the current writer states that a history of TB is the current factor limiting their travel. I do not know the particular requirements for travel in the referenced countries and cannot comment further.

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Response by:

Robert  Schilz, DO, PhD Robert Schilz, DO, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University