The pulmonary nodule or the importance of a correct diagnosis

Written by: Dr. Luis Lores Obradors
Edited by: Top Doctors®

A pulmonary nodule is a localized lesion in the lung that is seen as an opacity ("spot / shade") on the chest x-ray or pulmonary CT scan.

This pulmonary lesion is a frequent visit to a pulmonology clinic. It can have very different causes and therefore different degrees of importance, and may represent a totally harmless injury or a malignant injury, such as lung cancer.


Causes of the pulmonary nodule

The origin of the pulmonary nodule is very diverse and, fortunately, most of the causes are benign and will not produce serious complications. Some of the most frequent causes of this lung injury are:

  • Residual injury or infection injuries
  • Benign tumors - Respiratory infections
  • Vascular malformations
  • At other times lung nodules are secondary to lung cancer or metastases of another cancer in the lung.


Pulmonary nodule symptoms

Early diagnosis of the pulmonary nodule is essential, as these lesions usually have no symptoms at their origin. Usually these nodules are discovered when an x-ray, chest X-ray, or chest X-ray has been performed, otherwise it is an unexpected finding. Anyway the pulmonologists recommend performing these tests periodically, especially in smokers or respiratory problems.

In cases where the pulmonary nodule presents symptoms, these are non-specific and many patients confuse them with other diseases. Cough, changes in it, chest pain and bloody expectoration are the warning symptoms to go to the pulmonologist's office.

nodules in the lungs


Diagnosis of the pulmonary nodule

To diagnose this lesion, in some cases with pulmonary CT or chest X-ray may be sufficient, especially if there are previous studies with the same lesion.

In many cases it will be necessary to perform a cytological or histological investigation to analyze the cells that compose the nodule and assess whether it is benign or not. This study will usually be done by analyzing sputum, or through bronchoscopy, which is the exploration of the bronchial tree or by thoracic punctures.


Pulmonary nodule treatment

The treatment of the pulmonary nodule will depend on the cause that caused it. In many cases, no treatment is needed, whereas in other cases it is necessary to treat it with antibiotic. In cases of tumor nodules the solution should be surgical.

At other times, when the suspicion of neoplasia is low after the detection of the pulmonary nodule, the patient should periodically take periodic radiographs to evaluate the evolution of the lesion in the lungs.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Luis Lores Obradors
Pulmonary Disease

Doctor of Medicine, Dr. Lores Obradors is a reference specialist in Pneumology practicing in the province of Barcelona. He is the Head of Pneumology and Coordinator of the consolidated group of suggestibility in major diseases of the Parc Sanitari. He combines his professional career with teaching, coordinating the Department of Teaching General Hospital Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu and serving as associate professor of clinical sciences at the University of Barcelona. He highlights its role as Director of the Master in Clinical Training Hospital of the University of Barcelona. He is a member of various medical societies.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

This website uses its own and third-party cookies to collect information in order to improve our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences, as well as to analyse your browsing habits..