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Thursday, December 12, 2013
I recently had a chest x-ray and they said I had two nodules. They did blood work and then a cat scan. when I asked the Dr. how the cat scan went he said that they disappeared. Does this mean I have nothing to worry about now? Than you in advance for your assistance.
CT scans (or cat scans) are more sensitive for detecting lung nodules than chest Xray. This means that CT scans will pick up nodules not seen on chest Xray. It is possible that the nodules you had were "inflammatory." In most instances, we think these inflammatory nodules are due to infections. In patients with other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, these diseases can cause nodules. Also, sometimes what appears to be a nodule on chest Xray is actually due to an overlap of various structures from your three-dimensional chest on a two-dimensional Xray. The way CT scans are performed produces a better view of the lungs and these nodules may disappear. From the perspective of worrying about lung cancer, the fact that they were not seen on CT scan means they were not lung cancer.
James M O'Brien, Jr, MD
Former Associate Professor
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University