You might see the words calcified granuloma somewhere in your chest x ray report. A very common abnormality which many people have as a finding. 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.
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 is not dense but may still be a calcified granuloma. Therefore, A chest CT may be needed to take a closer look.
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.
The good news is that calcified granulomas are benign, There is no realistic possibility 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.
They 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.