Avatar universal

questions on ct scan


I recently had a chest ct scan done because of mild pain in upper right chest for 2 years. It reads:

1. patchy nonspecific areas of pleural based density in posterior hemithorax on each side that I suspect are related to dependent atelectatic changes. Small pleural plaques cannot be excluded.

What is dependent Atelectatic Changes?

2. There is a small 5mm spiculated nodule in right apex that appears to have central lucency. There is other more benign appearing fibronodular scarring in both apices.

I know this is very small, I'm a little concerned about the "Spiculated" description, from what I have read this is more likely cancer. They are suggesting a follow up 6mos to confirm stability. What do you think about this?

I'm a 38yr old woman, nonsmoker.

Thank you very much for your time.

3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
251132 tn?1198078822
Atelectasis is defined as diminished air in the lung, along with decreased lung volume.  Dependent atelectasis is short-hand for gravity-dependent atelectasis.  It is related to the mechanical properties of the lung.  It is not a sign of a specific problem.  For that matter, when dependent atelectasis occurs on both sides of the lung it is not even an indicator of disease.

Pleural plaques are scars of the pleura, a very thin membrane that covers the lung.  The most common cause of these is asbestosis.  These should be watched, at least for a couple years, at 6 to 12 month intervals.

You are correct about spiculation being one of the characteristics that make a nodule more likely to be cancer, even when the nodule is small, being less than 2 centimeters in diameter.  Yet the likelihood of lung cancer in a non-smoker, your age, is small.  The suggestion that you wait 6 months to repeat the scan is reasonable.  Given your understandable anxiety, however, you might ask if the first repeat scan be done at 3 months.  Although, in truth, 3 months is a short period to expect any change.

If this is a cancer, it has been identified at a very early stage.  The odds of cure, with surgical removal, would be very much in your favor.  It is unlikely that a lesion this size is related to your chronic chest pain.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
i just said a prayer for you that it means NOTHING.  I had a scan on Friday and am waiting for my doctor's telephone call with the test results... i HATE not knowing what is what...
it would be easy to say to you, don't worry (for the next 6 months) but hard for you to actually do!!  Good luck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for answering my questions. I will wait the 6mos, I'm sure it will ok.

Irish65 Thank you for your encourgement. I also said a prayer for you. Good luck with everything.
Helpful - 0

You are reading content posted in the Respiratory Disorders Forum

Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Is your area one of the dirtiest-air cities in the nation?
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.