Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
lung disease linked to RA
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lung disease linked to RA

My Aunt has RA and during the diagnostic a shadow was noticed on her lung.
We have been told that it is not cancer and we're originally told it was PF.
However in her most recent hospital visit they told her it was not PF either
but she was not told what it was. They are treating it with steroids.
The only illness that I can see what it could be, on the basis that
I. It has been identified as an illness bought on by her RA.
II. It has caused a shadow and scarring on her lung
III. Other symptoms included.
         A. Dry persistent cough
         B. Pain in her upper back and chest
         C. Shortness of breath
         D. Elivated heart rate bought on by minimal exertion (ie getting dressed. Washed)
         E. Blood saturation level of between 90-92.

She has had an ECG and has been told that her heart is normal so heart disease has been ruled out.

So would like to know if anybody has any other ideas on what it could be if it's not
Interstial lung disease or pulmonary fibrosis ( as from my reading ILD is a group of
illnesses that includes PF and other conditions that are included under the heading
of ILD do not match her symptoms and are not treated with steroids.

Thanks
242587_tn?1355427710
I can appreciate your concern.  You state, “she was not told what it was”  My first recommendation is that you, in the presence of your Aunt, have a “sit-down” conversation with the physician primarily responsible for your Aunt’s care to ask some questions; most importantly, what is his/her “working diagnosis” and what evidence is there for that conclusion.  RA can involve the lungs and the appearance of the “shadow” may enable doctors to speculate with reasonable certainty on the nature of the shadow; that is, is it or is it not RA related.

The symptoms you list are worrisome and her doctors should engage in a systematic diagnostic investigation of the nature of the shadow and how it relates to her symptoms.

I surmise that consultation with a lung specialist (Pulmonologist) would be the most direct way to get to the “bottom” of what is going on and what additional diagnostic studies are appropriate.

It is good that an EKG was done but that alone does not rule out the possibility of heart disease and any further investigations should assess both her heart and her lungs.

Good luck
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