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Lung diseases

Lung Scarring

04/27/2010

Question:

My husband has had two cases of pneumonia in the last 3 months. He was told he had some scarring in his lungs, but hasn`t sent him to get any more x-rays, though he`s still congested and coughing. He completed his antibiotics several weeks ago. He also has several kinds of rheumitoid arthritis, and we`ve heard that can also cause scarring. He has Osteoarthritis, Rieters and psoritic arthritis. Can it be the pneumonia or also the arthritis causing the scarring? Should he see someone who will compare the x-rays?

Answer:

Certain rheumatologic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis can result in lung fibrosis (scarring).  On X-ray the fibrosis can be initially confused with pneumonia.  If the findings and symptoms fail to resolve with appropriate antibiotic treatment for pneumonia, then consultation with a pulmonary expert is advised.

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Response by:

David  R Nunley, MD, FCCP David R Nunley, MD, FCCP
Former Associate Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University