Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Lung nodule
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Lung nodule

My husband is 40 years old and was a moderate smoker (3-4 cigarettes a day) for approximately 15 years. During a CT scan for an unrelated issue, doctors found an 8 mm groundglass nodule within the right upper lung. He is scheduled for a follow-up CT in 2 months. The scan also noted dependent subsegmental atelectasis. I have a few questions - does this seem like appropriate protocol? does the atelectasis have any significance? My husband has asthma and was hospitalized for it for several days at one point and has also used inhalers off and on. Could the nodule be scar tissue?
thank you
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Groundglass is an X-ray term for lung nodules or pneumonia-like shadows that have a distinctive appearance that is most often associated with infectious and non-infectious pneumonias, relatively benign diseases of unknown cause such as one called Sarcoidosis and another called alveolar proteinosis, each of these being a treatable disease.  A nodule of this appearance is unlikely to be a scar.  In this regard, however, it would be wise to request any and all previous chest X-rays, that might be available, for comparison with his current CT and chest X-rays.

The groundglass appearance is not characteristic of cancer of the lung.

The plan to repeat test in two months is quite an acceptable approach.

The subsegmental atelectasis, by your description in another part of your husband’s lung, is almost certainly of no significance.  A nodule of 8 mm in diameter is considered to be “small” by conventional standards and nodules of this size are highly likely to be benign.

This nodule is unlikely to be related to his history of asthma or its treatment with inhalers, especially if he currently has no signs or symptoms of asthma.

I get the impression that his doctors have made a sound recommendation.  Should you for whatever reason, come to feel otherwise, you should not hesitate to request a second opinion, preferably with a lung specialist (Pulmonologist).

Good luck
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for your response. I found it very helpful and reassuring. We will wait until April for the results of the second CT since we have no other scans or xrays to compare it to.
Thanks again for your response!

Cara
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi! Last year at this time, I had a CT scn of my lung's, I have had problems with my lungs for a long time, I am a heavy smoker, I am 46 and started when I was 14yrs old, anyway he first scan the nodul was 3.5 mm not sure what the second was, I had another one done a couple of days ago, it is now 7.11mm......my mom died at 59 of small cell....how worried should I be right now, I just got the call a bit ago! Thank you,Linda!
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