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Lung diseases

Calcified Nodule

03/08/2010

Question:

What does it mean to have a 10 mm Calcified nodule at the left lung apex?

Answer:

To determine what to do about your lung nodule, your doctor will take several factors into consideration. Perhaps most important is the pattern of calcium seen in your nodule. If the nodule is densely and diffusely calcified (the entire thing is calcified), it is assuredly benign and is probably due to an old infection from Histoplasmosis, a fungus that lives in the soil in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. Other patterns of calcification which assure that lung nodules are benign are lamellar (looking like a target) and popcorn calcifications. Other patterns of calcification cannot assure that a nodule is benign and need further evaluation, which may include anything from repeat scans to a biopsy.

The size, shape and location of the nodule can help suggest if it is benign, and your risk factors for lung cancer and other symptoms will also be considered. Ultimately, the majority of lung nodules are benign.

You should discuss the specifics of your nodule with your doctor to find out more.

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Response by:

James M O'Brien, Jr, MD James M O'Brien, Jr, MD
Former Associate Professor
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University