You might see the words calcified granuloma somewhere in your chest x ray report. It is a very common abnormality which many people have as a finding.
What Is A Calcified Granuloma?
A calcified granuloma is an infection of the lung that calcifies over time. Calcification means there are calcium deposits in the granuloma. Calcifiied granulomas form around inflamed tissue. This is a way your body prevents infection from spreading. Calcified granulomas in the lung can form around tuberculosis, fungal infections and systemic conditions like Sarcoidosis. Calcified granulomas represent old healed infection or inflammation in the lung.
Calcified Granuloma Symptoms
Calcified granulomas have no symptoms in most cases. They are usually discovered for a reason other then why your having the test. If they are large or near the airways, you may have a cough or shortness of breath. You may have symptoms if there is an active infection that lead to the formation of the granuloma.
What Causes A Calcified Granuloma In The Lung?
Calcified granulomas are most commonly an indication of a previous immune system response. They are often caused by a previous infection that you may not have even noticed. One cause that can be important is prior tuberculosis which is inactive. Therefore, even though this finding is often benign, your doctor should still evaluate your history and symptoms. Sometimes, further testing will be needed.
What Does A Calcified Granuloma Look Like On Chest X-Ray?
A calcified granuloma looks like a dense white spot on chest x ray replacing the normally dark lung. It can be anywhere in size from a tiny dot to multiple centimeters. It is often the result of previous infection that you may have had, and sometimes not even noticed.
What Does A Calcified Granuloma Look Like On Chest CT?
A calcified granuloma on chest CT appears as a white dense spot and a confident diagnosis can be made in many cases. Not all nodules with calcifications are however granulomas. The radiologist will look closely and make sure the appearance is benign. There are tumors which can have calcifications and only your radiologist can raise suspicion.
How Is A Calcified Granuloma Of The Lung Diagnosed?
The diagnosis is most confidently made on a chest CT, but if the spot on chest x-ray is dense enough, the radiologist may make a confident diagnosis. At other times, the spot in the lung is not dense but may still be a calcified granuloma. Therefore, a chest CT may be needed to take a closer look.
Can Calcified Granuloma Be Cancer?
The good news is that calcified granulomas are benign. They are not a manifestation of cancer or spread to other parts of the body. Usually granulomas don’t grow or cause problems with the lungs. They don’t cause symptoms in most cases. In some cases, cancers can mimic calcified granulomas so additional testing may be needed based on the radiologist recommendations.
Do Calcified Granulomas Grow?
Calcified granulomas are usually stable over time and do not grow. If there is growth, then the diagnosis of calcified granuloma should be questioned and further testing may be needed.
Calcified Granuloma Treatment
Calcified granulomas do not require treatment because they are benign. The underlying condition which caused the granuloma may require treatment in some cases.
Calcified Granuloma In The Lung: Summary
Calcified granulomas are common asymptomatic findings found on imaging of the chest. They are caused by an old healed process such as infection or inflammation. They are benign, do not cause symptoms and are stable over time. They can mimic other conditions such as cancer, especially on chest x-ray. Usually CT scans are diagnostic for calcified granulomas of the lung. No follow up or further testing is needed for the imaging findings. The underlying condtition which caused the granuloma may have to be treated as directed by your doctor.