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lung infection
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lung infection

I am 62 years old and have now a lung infection for about 5 months.
I have carried out an X-ray. Too coarse to get results.
Done a CT scan. and some infection shown on upper part of the
lungs.  The heart and lung specialist informed that this type
of infection is usually in the lower part of the lung and
therefore very puzzling.  A battery of blood and spittum tests
are being carried out.  If not definitive she will suggest
a biopsy unde general anastetics to find what the infection is.
If I can help it, I want to avoid at all cost invasive procedures
of this nature.  What can be done alaternatively.
They also discover that I have high blood pressure (probabley
of long standing) with an ECG showing some valleys where picks
should be when body is exerted.
I never smoked or drank, but my father suffer from heart attacks
and my mother died from stroke, both at advanced age.
My lung capicity shows 92% effectiveness.
Any suggestions?
Many thanks
Freddie
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It is usually possible to determine the nature of an infection, without a biopsy.  It can be done by bronchoscopy.  This is a procedure that is done under local rather than general anesthesia to create conscious sedation, which is like a light sleep.  During this procedure a tube called a bronchoscope is passed through your nose into your windpipe to look into your lungs.  With the bronchoscope tiny pieces of lung tissue can be taken for further testing.  If there is infection, it can usually be found in this way.

It sounds like the doctor already has a good idea of the germ that is causing this infection since she commented, "this type of infection is usually in the lower part of the lung".  You should ask your doctor what she is thinking.
3 Comments
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If sputum tests are not diagnostic, the next step would probably be a bronchoscopy. A bronchoscope is inserted into the lung to examine it, take a biopsy, and maybe a photo. This requires a sedative, not a general anesthesia. See:
http://www.chestnet.org/education/patient/guides/bronchoscopy/
I was told this has an 80% chance of diagnosing the lung disease.

If bronchoscopy is inconclusive the next step might be a lung needle biopsy; a needle is inserted through the chest wall into the lung to take a small sample.

Finally a larger biopsy sample can be obtained using a VATS biopsy, which does require a general anesthesia.
http://www.postgradmed.com/issues/1999/10_01_99/shrager.htm
Excerpt:
"The two primary reasons to refer a patient for VATS lung biopsy are (1) to evaluate a solitary pulmonary nodule and (2) to evaluate an ongoing pulmonary process of unclear origin."

I read the VATS biopsy has a 95% chance of diagnosis.

Sometimes biopsy is performed with a thoracotomy, but this is a
more invasive procedure.

Hopefully in your case a bronchoscopy will be diagnostic.
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The following form submission was sent.
S1: Good evening. My mom has a really bad cold (something like brochitis) last January and she had antibiotics to take, she had pumps too but never bothered to take them. She had her annual appointment a montj ago and the doctor noticed something different when checking her lungs (in the breathing) so she asked my mom if she had a cold and my mom said she did in January, so her doctor prescribed and XRAY where a shawdow showed up and pumps for her to take Flovent and told my mom to have another XRAY in two weeks whick she did but the XRAY still came back with the same shawdow (like a mass). I would like to know if this means cancer...or your opinion could the infection possibly still be there after nine months?? They are sending her for a CT Scan but her appointment is only at the end of October (3 months from now) . Your honnesty and expertise would be appreciated, as I am really scare for my mom, but at the same time I want to be realistic. MY email is ***@**** Thanks Julie Brisebois
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