Negative sputum results without treatment

Posted by sayaboleh @sayaboleh, May 12, 2019

Has anyone had spontaneous sputum conversion without taking the big 3? I was told recently that my latest samples produced no pathogens — i.e. MAC organisms. That is great news of course — I had no idea that would happen but found some studies that 40- 60% can spontaneously convert without the benefit of treatment. I was diagnosed about 8 years ago and just assumed I would always have it. I have had no symptoms other than a flare up recently when I caught a cold, hence the sputum samples to figure out what was going on. I was given a long explanation by my pulmonologist which was a little difficult to follow. Would love to hear from others if they know anything about this.
Mary

@nannette

@lorifilipek I've been taking NAC for over a year now (or maybe longer) and haven't had any issues. I have bronchiectasis, did the big three, testing negative for MAC right now. I've only heard positive things about NAC. Nan

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@nannette , Hello Nan! So glad that you are testing negative now. Did you ever get rid of your nagging cough? I hope so! P.S. we need to get together again.

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@lorifilipek

Based on several comments in this discussion, I am interested in taking NAC. Thanks! However, I read that NAC can cause hemoptysis. Has anyone had that reaction to taking NAC orally? I was diagnosed with mild bronchiectasis (with a couple small nodules) and MAC after coughing up blood a couple of years ago, while lap swimming. Last month I again coughed up about 2-3 TBS of blood on going to bed. Other than that, I have had no symptoms and don’t take antibiotics. I am 72. I exercise and walk 2-4 miles almost every day and my spirometry/breathing results are normal.

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Wanted to respond as someone who also has had bouts of coughing up blood. I also was diagnosed after bouts of hemoptysis. I have mild bronchiectasis with MAC, and I seemed to cough up blood about every 4 to 6 months. I started on NAC 600 mg twice a day as well as 3% saline (generally once a day, or twice if I am exposed to a cold or having worse symptoms). I have not had any bouts of hemoptysis in over 6 months, so the NAC has at the very least not made it any worse – and I feel it has helped with my airway clearance and actually reduced the bouts. We'll see if it lasts, but I would call this an improvement! I wish my pulmo believed in retesting for MAC because I would really like to see if I am still positive, or at least to know if the counts have decreased.

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@shooei

Wanted to respond as someone who also has had bouts of coughing up blood. I also was diagnosed after bouts of hemoptysis. I have mild bronchiectasis with MAC, and I seemed to cough up blood about every 4 to 6 months. I started on NAC 600 mg twice a day as well as 3% saline (generally once a day, or twice if I am exposed to a cold or having worse symptoms). I have not had any bouts of hemoptysis in over 6 months, so the NAC has at the very least not made it any worse – and I feel it has helped with my airway clearance and actually reduced the bouts. We'll see if it lasts, but I would call this an improvement! I wish my pulmo believed in retesting for MAC because I would really like to see if I am still positive, or at least to know if the counts have decreased.

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@shooei Thanks for your response. it's very heartening!

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@shooei

Wanted to respond as someone who also has had bouts of coughing up blood. I also was diagnosed after bouts of hemoptysis. I have mild bronchiectasis with MAC, and I seemed to cough up blood about every 4 to 6 months. I started on NAC 600 mg twice a day as well as 3% saline (generally once a day, or twice if I am exposed to a cold or having worse symptoms). I have not had any bouts of hemoptysis in over 6 months, so the NAC has at the very least not made it any worse – and I feel it has helped with my airway clearance and actually reduced the bouts. We'll see if it lasts, but I would call this an improvement! I wish my pulmo believed in retesting for MAC because I would really like to see if I am still positive, or at least to know if the counts have decreased.

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Hello shooei@shooei
Yes, I have coughed up blood. It doesn't seem as though I cough it up, but I can hear a gurgling sound and know that the blood will be coming, and it is sooo scary. I was diagnosed with pneumonia both times that I went to the ER and a CT was done, and the last time, almost 3 years ago, the radiologist said the symptoms were pneumonia and possibly MAC. That was the first time that I had heard of MAC and no one explained what it was, so I went on-line and looked. The allergy/asthma doc that I see, didn't agree that it was MAC, yet when I had the yearly CT in his office, the radiologist report was "consistent with MAC". Having COPD, bronchiectasis, and asthma, I nebulize with Brovana twice daily followed by one puff of Alvesco inhaler. It has been almost 3 years since last having any blood come up, but we live on the edge that it might. The blood appears very liquid and would sometimes be a couple of tablespoons. It first happened about 20 years ago, and at that time was diagnosed as pneumonia. Has happened twice since then. IF I seem to get a chest congestion, I start on 250 mg of an antibiotic for 5 days. It is a child's dose, but I have problems with most antibiotics and have had C-diff in the past due to them. Hope this helps you a bit.

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@baz10

Hello shooei@shooei
Yes, I have coughed up blood. It doesn't seem as though I cough it up, but I can hear a gurgling sound and know that the blood will be coming, and it is sooo scary. I was diagnosed with pneumonia both times that I went to the ER and a CT was done, and the last time, almost 3 years ago, the radiologist said the symptoms were pneumonia and possibly MAC. That was the first time that I had heard of MAC and no one explained what it was, so I went on-line and looked. The allergy/asthma doc that I see, didn't agree that it was MAC, yet when I had the yearly CT in his office, the radiologist report was "consistent with MAC". Having COPD, bronchiectasis, and asthma, I nebulize with Brovana twice daily followed by one puff of Alvesco inhaler. It has been almost 3 years since last having any blood come up, but we live on the edge that it might. The blood appears very liquid and would sometimes be a couple of tablespoons. It first happened about 20 years ago, and at that time was diagnosed as pneumonia. Has happened twice since then. IF I seem to get a chest congestion, I start on 250 mg of an antibiotic for 5 days. It is a child's dose, but I have problems with most antibiotics and have had C-diff in the past due to them. Hope this helps you a bit.

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@baz10 Thanks for responding. I'm investigating whether coughing up blood may actually be a good thing in MAC. In my reading of MAC articles, I found one called "Retrospective study of the predictors of mortality and radiographic deterioration in 782 patients with nodular/brochiectatic MAC lung disease" by Gochi et al. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26246077 ) Very few people die of MAC-related issues. The women with bloody sputum fared the best. I'm trying to find out why.

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@lorifilipek

@baz10 Thanks for responding. I'm investigating whether coughing up blood may actually be a good thing in MAC. In my reading of MAC articles, I found one called "Retrospective study of the predictors of mortality and radiographic deterioration in 782 patients with nodular/brochiectatic MAC lung disease" by Gochi et al. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26246077 ) Very few people die of MAC-related issues. The women with bloody sputum fared the best. I'm trying to find out why.

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I read the same thing @lorifilipek . I've not found that they know why or if there is any real correlation – sort of like why do many with our condition tend to be tall, thin, mitral valve prolapse, "older" women….just a coincidence, or some correlation or connection? So many questions!

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@lorifilipek

@baz10 Thanks for responding. I'm investigating whether coughing up blood may actually be a good thing in MAC. In my reading of MAC articles, I found one called "Retrospective study of the predictors of mortality and radiographic deterioration in 782 patients with nodular/brochiectatic MAC lung disease" by Gochi et al. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26246077 ) Very few people die of MAC-related issues. The women with bloody sputum fared the best. I'm trying to find out why.

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@lorifilipek Thank you for that positive comment about very few dying from MAC, and for me personally about the blood. I feel so much better.

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