I have just had a troubling chest x-ray after experiencing ongoing coughing and a nagging pain in the center of my chest for the past year. Doctor kept passing it off as allergies or mild asthma, but I persisted for a pulmonary consult. Now, no one will follow up with me for a minimum of 2 months because they want me to take a pulmonary function test and a CT before they give me a clue what is wrong.
I’m a non-smoker, 56 year old female, and aside from breathing in a heavily polluted city, I exercise regularly have no unhealthy habits. Two years ago I had Covid and I coughed up blood once. It has never happened since. My chest x-ray results state:
No pleural effusion, or pneumothorax. Hazy opacities in the upper lobes. Mild nodular areas possible. Mild upward retraction of the hila. Right perihilar bronchial wall thickening. Lung hyperinflation.
Ill-defined hazy opacities upper lobes, uncertain etiology. Inhalational disease is a possibility in addition to infection. Comparison with any prior imaging/history would be helpful. Further evaluation with chest CT recommended.
I’m thinking COPD, especially with the lung hyperinflation. Anyone have a similar diagnosis? I’m afraid to even think what the nodules are. The hazy upper lobes make me think lung cancer though, and I can’t believe they’re making me wait 2 months to shed any light on this. I’m very afraid.
First I should like to welcome you to this forum. It is friendly, funny and hugely supportive but none of us are doctors. So we cannot offer diagnoses. However, we are curious and usually well-informed. I am very interested in your case. Now, I am about to go out on a limb: I noted that you have had Covid. And coughed blood. Hmmm…. I really shouldn’t say this but I think your medical team should be looking at the long term effects of that.
I think you may need a CTPA scan to look at any vascular damage and a MRI, possibly with Xenon gas, to assess the airways damage. Your profile does not say where you are. US? I am happy to continue the discussion on the private messaging system.
All the best
Thank you so much for your reply. I realize that no one can offer a diagnosis, just wondered if anyone had a similar finding on their tests. The doctors won’t tell me a thing and it seems that doesn’t bode well. I’m in lower Manhattan, came here for my husband’s work 20 years ago and was always worried about the health effects of living here, especially after the Twin owners came down. There’s so much cancer and lung disease here.
When I went to my GP he made light of my symptoms and kept assuring me that it was probably allergies or mild asthma. I had to go to a new doctor to get a referral to a pulmonologist, but even he was in doubt that anything was wrong. They were both surprised by the positive chest x-ray, but still I have to wait a month to take a pulmonary function test and a CT. Meanwhile, I’m afraid to go outside and breathe in more pollution. I’m afraid to exercise. I wish they could give me at least a little guidance. I understand that they’re likely afraid of being sued for saying the wrong thing (malpractice insurance is sky high gets), but still, it seems like they could at least tell me what to avoid doing.
Thank you for getting back to me. I guessed you were in America. Pulmonologist is a dead giveaway. We in the UK call them respiratory consultants. How interesting to live in Manhattan. I have a friend who is married to a BBC correspondent. She loved the time they had in New York. Culturally very vibrant. Please keep us informed about how things develop with you.