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Lung diseases

Scar tissue on lung

03/19/2007

Question:

about 4 years ago i got hurt and they took x rays. the dr. said i had scar tissue on my lungs. i have never smoked, but i was around cigarettes all the time growing up(my dad). i just want to know if it will get worse? and if so, how bad can it get or whats the worse case scenario?

Answer:

There are many things that can cause scars in the lung. Some (such as pulmonary fibrosis) are serious and require referral to a specialist. Others (such as scars from past pneumonia) are not serious and do not cause breathing problems in the future. It can sometimes be difficult to tell if an x-ray abnormality is truly a scar or if it is an early cancer. Sometimes a special test called a CT scan can help your doctor decide whether the scar is serious or not. The best thing for you to do is to ask your doctor what he/she believes the scar is due to and whether he/she recommends any further testing.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University