Monday, May 20, 2013
Should a non calcified lung nodule be followed up with a cat scan or is regular xray sufficient? How long do the nodules take to calcify?
Any nodule in lung can be an infection, scar or early cancer. Nodules that are caused by fungal infection or other non malignant conditions may be calcified. In other words, a calcification suggests non-cancer condition in most cases. We like to follow lung nodules for a total of 2 years. Chest CT scan is the best to determine if there is any change in shape, size or character. A nodule from early cancer will grow. A scar or old infection may remain unchanged. A new infection may just disappear. A chest X ray is not a good imaging method to follow these as the picture lacks resolution of a CT.
Shaheen Islam, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University