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Q: Health ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Health
Category: Health
Asked by: miedo-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 21 May 2006 18:35 PDT
Expires: 20 Jun 2006 18:35 PDT
Question ID: 731149
Are lung infiltrates the same thing as lung cancer?
Subject: Re: Health
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 21 May 2006 23:31 PDT
Hello miedo-ga!

I found the information you were asking about and hope that this will
be useful to you.

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The term ?infiltrate? is used when interpreting radiological imaging
of the chest, by chest x-ray, CT scan, or other technique. It refers
to an apparent fluid collection within the lungs. According to a
physician survey appearing in the medical journal Radiology in 2005,
?Infiltrate is a nonspecific and imprecise term when it is used as a
radiograph descriptor, and use of this term does not usually enhance
patient care.? With this piece of information it is readily apparent
why you might have the question that you do. This article goes on to
discuss the various conditions that may have an infiltrate described
on the x-ray. They are:

* Bacterial pneumonia
* Non-specific pneumonia
* Interstitial pneumonia
* Viral pneumonia
* Consolidation
* Nonspecific interstitial disease
* Airspace disease
* Pnuemonitis
* Pulmonary edema
* Atelectasis
* Fibrosis
* Small airway disease
* Airway disease

Some physicians surveyed also said that the presence of an infiltrate
might not even suggest an underlying disease. Most of the items on
that list are actually ?signs and symptoms? rather than diseases.

In a radiology teaching file online, I found a case discussing chronic
lung infiltrates, and the case states:

?In the patient with chronic pulmonary infiltrates, differential
considerations should include lymphoma, sarcoid, lipoid pneumonia, and
alveolar proteinosis. In the older patient, bronchoalveolar carcinoma
should be a strong differential consideration.?

Depending on how long the infiltrates have been present, and the
general issues regarding the patient, an infiltrate may suggest an
underlying cancer, but it is not the cancer itself.

In a set of online flash cards designed to review the various things
that may show up on chest imaging, there are a number of lists that
may be useful. Focus on those that mention ?infiltrate? specifically
(acute alveolar infiltrate, shifting infiltrates, rapidly clearing
alveolar infiltrates, and infiltrates with effusion). The most common
entries on these lists are things like pneumonia.

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You?ll find that the exact terminology that physicians use when
describing x-ray findings can vary widely from physician to physician.
For this reason it is extremely important to find a qualified
professional that you trust to discuss the specific questions that you
may have. Also, most times a physician will want to see the specific
x-rays or other imaging studies to be able to make the most accurate
assessment possible. The short answer to your question is that the
term ?infiltrate? is not synonymous with ?cancer,? but that cancer is
one of many different diseases and processes that could cause an
infiltrate. Again, be sure to discuss any specific concerns or
questions that you may have with a qualified professional. I hope that
you find this information helpful. If you have need of any further
clarification, please let me know how I can help.


Search terms:

lung infiltrate defined
acute lung infiltrate differential
lung infiltrates differential
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