I had a cat scan of my chest after having cough, with cold every since 11/08, and having taken all kinds of antibiotics, shots and cough meds. The scan results indicated all ok and diagnosed with bilateral apical ibrosis and atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries and aorta. Could you tell me what this means medically.
You should discuss this with your doctor, as well as here in this forum. The apical fibrosis is probably of no consequence, especially since it is bilateral. These are scars and most likely a residual of past infection, either tuberculosis (TB) or a fungal infection. That they are fibrotic is consistent with an inactive infection. There is, however always the chance for reactivation of TB, albeit a slight chance. When this occurs it is almost always in association with a severe chronic illness, an immunodeficiency state or with cancer chemotherapy. You should check with your doctor about a tuberculosis skin test, if you have not had a positive test in the past.
The atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries and aorta is the same as what is commonly referred to as arteriosclerosis. That is, deposits of calcium and lipids in these arteries; the coronary arteries supplying the heart and the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body. The former could result in a heart attack. You should definitely consult with your primary care doctor on this. You could be a candidate for further testing, under the guidance of your doctor and a cardiologist. This would include testing for diabetes, hypertension and, perhaps most importantly, comprehensive testing of your blood lipid levels, including cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and others. If these are abnormal, dietary modification and the prescription of lipid altering medicines would very likely be appropriate.
The atherosclerosis is a serious but treatable problem. Do not delay in arranging to have this checked out.
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