Bilateral centrilobular ground glass opacities
I have had yearly Ct scans of my lungs and they continue to show centrilobular ground glass opacities in the upper lobes along with 2 pulmonary nodules (reported as unchanged in size from previous scans). My doctor is a wait and see guy and says “we will repeat in a year”. Should I be concerned
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@lindarobinson55 Hello Linda, Welcome to Mayo Connect.
You asked, "Should I be concerned" – Here comes that unwelcome answer – It depends.
First, why are you having annual CT scans of your lungs? Do you have an underlying lung disease or symptoms?
Have you had Covid?
I am asking because there are many (possibly hundreds) of lung conditions and diseases. Some progress, some are from known causes, others are idiopathic (cause unknown.)
For many, unless an aggressive infection or cancer is suspected, "watch and wait" is the usual protocol.
What led you to begin having annual CT scans?
I am a former smoker. But the reason for the scans is that I took the drug Chantix (my lot number was one recalled as Pfizer accidentally doubled the ingredients in several lots). I began with a severe unrelenting cough, thus my primary sent me to a pulmonologist first. I passed his VQ scan thus he ordered my first lung CT 3 years ago which first showed multiple cysts throughout my upper lobes. He placed me on steroids and several inhalers which improved my symptoms. I felt so much better that I told my primary that I no longer needed to see a lung doctor. He agreed but said I needed yearly scans done. My second scan, 2 years ago showed no further cysts. The one I had done 2 weeks ago show ground glass opacities, left lingular and LLL and RML atelectasis. Still no cough, SOB or related symptoms
Linda – Have you had Covid, pneumonia or bronchitis since your last scan? Each of these can lead to the ground glass opacities.
I'm glad you are watching it…remember that most lung conditions develop slowly, and are often asymptomatic so annual or biennial scans are a great tool. My pulmonologist and primary both say the lower dose radiation makes these safe for us.
Never have had Covid or any recent illness
Are you comfortable with "watch and wait" or do you feel like you need more diagnostics?
I’m ok with it. Was just curious what others thought
My husband never smoked and developed an ongoing cough with occasional bouts of breathing issues over about a 6 month period. He had multiple ER visits saw two pulmonologists and had several scans which showed ground glass opacities but no other obvious issues. Rounds of antibiotics and steroids provided temporary relief. After 6 months he started coughing up blood and after 2 bronchoscopies followed by a Pet Scan they diagnosed stage 4 lung cancer. He passed in January. I would push for more diagnostic work. Good luck to you.
I have had a ground glass opacity since 2017 and it is still stable. My current scan reported it as a little less conspicuous than previous scans. I did have one previously that began to grow, which was adenocarcinoma cancer. Adenocarcinoma is a slow growing cancer. They performed a robotic lung resection where they took a 1/4 of my left lung. Because of yearly scans, it was caught early, I did not have to have chemo. It sounds like your doctor is following typical protocol.
I don't worry too much about it, as nodules can come and go, and doctors see these all the time.
I don't want to live my life being anxious about something that might never happen. And if it does happen, I will be better prepared because I haven't been draining myself with fear. I
I hope this helps.