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Lung diseases

Abnormal CT scan of lungs

09/28/2009

Question:

I recently had a CT scan after a chest XRay showed "Minimal probable infiltrate at the left lung base with equivocal minimal left pleural effusion or incidental mild elevation of the left hemidiaphragm". The CT scan report showed "The current study demonstrates changes in the left lower lobe, interstitial disease and linear stranding noted. Whether this represents a chronic finding or resolving pneumonia is uncertain. In the posterior dependent portion of the left lung, there is pleural thickening noted. No significant fluid seen. This measures greater than fluid in attenuation (over 100HU). Also indentified is somewhat groundglass appearance in the right lower lobe with addition of pleural thickening identified in the areas of the fissures both on the left and right. No mass is seen. No significant adenopathy identified". Four months ago, I fell striking my ribs on the left side on the corner of a countertop. I went to the ER, and was told the XRays looked normal, I only had bruising;they sent me home with Vicodin and Indocin. A little over a week later, I could hardly take a breath. I went to a different ER, and after XRays was told I had non-displaced fractures of the 10th and 11th ribs and my left lung was completely collapsed. After CT, it was found that I had a massive hemothorax on the left lung and a small pneumothorax on the right lung. I was admitted to the hospital and given the choice of a bedside chest tube or a video assisted thoracotomy. Because the CT showed 24HU, indicative of "old blood", I opted for the VATS due to the likelihood of clotting. 2 liters of blood were removed during surgery as well as several clots. My surgery was on 6-5-09, the chest tube was removed on 6-8-09 and I was discharged that evening. As of the end of August, I was still having significant pain and moderate shortness of breath. I went to my primary care doctor and she ordered the chest XRay and CT described above. (It was determined that my pain is from nerve damage from the VATS.) Based on the findings of the CT and the fact that I`m still short of breath on exertion, she has now referred me to a pulmonologist who I can`t get in to see until mid-October. Cancer runs in my family;my mother died from lung cancer 5yrs ago. Do these findings suggest cancer? Or could scarring and fibrosis explain this? The main thing that concerns me is that there are abnormalities in the right lung, but the hemothorax was on the left lung. Could a small pneumothorax still cause scarring and fibrosis??? I`ve spent MANY hours trying to research this myself, and I`m only becoming more worried with the more I read. Any information you could give would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, NetWellness experts try to answer general questions about health. Only the health professional who ordered the tests should interpret the results. However, NetWellness may have some general information available that you can access through our search feature.

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