Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Lung diseases

Calcified granulomas

12/28/2005

Question:

I am 76 years old, I just received my report of a recent Chest X-ray: Chest examination of 12/19/05: PA and lateral views. Calcified granulomas are seen. The heart is normal in size. Arterialsclerotic changes are present in the Aorta. Degenerative changes are seen in the thoracic spine.

Answer:

Calcified granulomas are scars within the lung tissue that are usually caused by previous lung infections.  These infections include tuberculosis, fungal infections-especially histoplasmosis and coccidiomycosis.   Histoplasmosis is very common in the Ohio River Valley and coccidiomycosis occurs in parts of California.

These infections cause a specific type of inflammation called a granuloma which may become calcified with time.  These lesions are nearly always benign and cause no impairment in lung function.

If you have ever had a chest xray previously, it would be helpful to compare the previous radiographs with your current studies.  You might ask your physician to show you the chest xray so you can see the lesions-sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you have been a smoker or if there is any concern about the size, shape, or contour of any lesion, it may be necessary to follow serial radiographs for 24 months.  If there is no change after 2 years, most lesions are benign.  CT scans are frequently used because they are better able to define the size, shape, and contour of lung lesions than chest x-rays.

For more information:

Go to the Lung diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati