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Lung diseases

Calcified Lymph Node Eroding into Airway

04/16/2010

Question:

I have two golf ball sized lymph nodes that erode and pinch off my airway in my right lung. The doctors will not remove the lung part or lymph nodes, so I am wondering if a stent to open the airway is possible? I cough up blood everyday (quarter cup) from the erosion and am anemic now and breathing is like breathing through a pillow. This has gone on for three years. Just looking for an opinion on this please.

Answer:

Obviously, it is impossible to determine the appropriateness of a stent in your specific case. That is a decision for you to make with your doctors. However, the condition you describe - termed broncholith (meaning stone in the lung) - can, at times, be treated with surgery and/or stenting. We generally reserve these treatments for patients with symptoms, such as shortness of breath and coughing up blood (hemoptysis). Sometimes, coughing up blood can also be treated by using a long catheter to cause the blood vessels going to the bleeding area to clot off.

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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