I have a question that I've found to be a tough one for those I've asked. Approximately 2 years ago I had a PE diagnosed in my left lung after it grew for 5 days. To this day I've continued to have severe chest pain (sharp, pressure, burning, etc.) in that lung and have had no success in relieving the pain with narcotics, procedures and almost anything else you can think of. It hurts to breathe and with any activity I tire quickly. Could all this pain be due to scar tissue or are we missing something? Any help in directing me to lesser pain and a better quality of life would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Pulmonary embolism can result in pulmonary infarction in which there is death of tissue. Infarction is uncommon because the lung tissue has three potential sources of oxygen: the pulmonary arteries, the bronchial arteries, and the airways. Two of these three sources apparently must be compromised before infarction develops. Therefore, in a person with no coexisting cardiopulmonary disease, infarction is rare. One-third of all cases of pulmonary infarction are not caused by pulmonary embolism (PE). This is found in the discussion of the citation below from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Causes and Presenting Features of Pulmonary Infarctions in 43 Cases Identified by Surgical Lung Biopsy by Joseph G. Parambil, MD; C. Dilara Savci, MD; Henry D. Tazelaar, MD, FCCP and Jay H. Ryu, MD, FCCP in CHEST, 2005, Volume 127, pages 1178-1183.
Chronic pain, following PE is most uncommon.
Thus the first questions you should ask your doctors are:
1) could this be something other than PE?
2) could it be pulmonary infarction?
3) have all the non-embolism causes of infarction listed below in the Discussion been ruled out?
4) could this disease process have resulted in permanent damage to the pleura that lines the chest wall and/or resulted in intercostal nerve damage?
5) if so, could the pain be relieved by either nerve block or removal of the diseased pleura?
You may want to share this information with your doctors.
Mine still hurts too. I was only just diagnosed a month ago, so maybe it's still healing, but I have another CT scan next week.
Mines like a stabbing pain in my left lung and the right lung is vibrating when I breathe in and out. You can even feel it sometimes if you put your hand on my back. My friend listened to it and said it sounds like when you slide across a leather couch in shorts on a hot day. Another said it sounded like birds' wings.
I'd be interested to know what you find out! Hope all goes well. :o)
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