Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsRespiratory Diseases · 1 month ago

Does anyone know how to read lung CT scans?

Ive had a persistent cough and constantly feel like I am coughing up mucus for over a year now. I had a CT scan and the nurse from my pcp called to give me results, not only did she act like she wasnt sure what news she was delivering, she had trouble even spelling out or pronouncing the results; from what I gathered she said "subplural sticulated density interior right lung base" , scarring in lungs, and said "Take zyrtec and if it doesnt help then see a pulmonologist" and hung up (as if I havent already been trying every allerdy medicine and nasal spray under the sun this last year --__--).. I feel like I am gravely missing information and dont want something to go missed until I can get into seeing a pulmonologist next week.

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6 Answers

  • Edna
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I don't believe you. 


    If your CT scan showed something terrible, your primary physician's nurse would NOT be calling you and trying to tell you what the CT scan showed. 


    Nurses aren't allowed to deliver diagnoses or test results to a patient  over the phone, not even if she understands what the results might mean. She probably doesn't even have a copy of the results. She would simply tell you that your doctor has received the results of the CT scan, and you need to make an appointment to discuss the findings with him - and that's ALL she would tell you.

  • Jason
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    That image is useless. It is one slice of the top of your chest. A CT is dozens to hundreds of slices and you need to scroll through them to read them. A static image like that means nothing. The scout film in the corner is too small to be of use either.

    A subpleural spiculated density needs follow up. Subpleaural means it is within the lung, but at the edges (as opposed to the middle of a lobe). "Spiculated" means "star-shaped" or pointy. The vast majority of lung nodules are rounded and are benign. Spiculated nodules are concerning for cancer. That is NOT a diagnosis of cancer, it is a nodule that needs follow up. A spiculated nodule can still be benign, but it is more concerning than a round nodule.

    There are a lot of things that cause nodules and if you have scarring in the lungs then you have had infections in the past. The most common cause of pulmonary nodules are scars from old infections. So that is the most likely culprit. Call your doc back and ask for clarification of your results and why they think your problem is allergic in nature.


    Source(s): Respiratory therapist (B.S., RRT, RPFT) Working on my master's in nursing
  • 1 month ago

    A density can be pneumonia, atelectasis (collapse of the air-sacs) or a mass. If they suspected a mass, they would have investigated it more, maybe with a biopsy. jmo.

  • Byrd
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    And so what exactly will YOU do about anything missed?? Meantime the doc reviewed that report before anyone called and recommended zyrtec

    • Edna
      Lv 7
      3 days agoReport

       A Nurse's Station is located in a hospital. The nearest thing to a Nurse's Station in PCP's office would be the receptionist's desk. No nurse from a Nurse's Station, or from a desk, or any other place, phoned you. Nurses aren't allowed to phone patients & deliver the results of any tests 

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  • 1 month ago

    That single image is far too low a resolution and is only an image of a single “slice” through your body.

    There is nothing which can be usefully interpreted from that, and a radiologist (a doctor specialising in diagnostic images) also has to consider the age, gender and medical history of the patient to make sense of the images.

    One week of further delay when you’ve had this problem for over a year now is not going to make any difference. If you want a proper explanation of the findings of the CT scan then you’ll just have to be a patient patient and wait until you see your pulmonologist.

    The nurse meant well, but you need to speak to the engineer and not the oily rag...

    Source(s): Former dual-qualified diagnostic radiographer and radiotherapist for a world class UK cancer hospital.
  • 1 month ago

    if you ask this question on healthtap a real doctor will email you back

    • Edna
      Lv 7
      3 days agoReport

      And a real doctor on Healthtap would tell him to ask his doctor what the scan indicated. No one except a trained radiologist can interpret a CT scan - and certainly not from that picture. 

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