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Chest pain, tightness, stabbing pain. Chest X-ray done, shows pulmonary nodule. Wants to do CT. Can benign nodule cause pain?

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I am 28 year old, non-smoker female with new onset chest pain for several weeks. Chest pain is felt during inspiration (cramping/tightness) and terrible stabbing that wakes me in the night. I have been diagnosed with a pulmonary nodule through 2 chest xrays. I now have a CT scheduled. I'm worried and my doctor has provided no assistance to my questions. Honestly, can a benign nodule cause pain? What is a likely outcome to the chest CT examining the nodule?
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 35 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

From your history, I understand that you have been diagnosed with pulmonary nodule and you also have associated chest pain.

I would like to comment the following:

1. A pulmonary nodule needs to be followed up with a chest CT scan to identify the exact cause of the nodule. There are many causes of nodule on chest CT - right from artifacts, infections, Infarct, benign lesions to malignancy.

2. History of associated chest pain could be due to - associated muscle spasm, Pleuritis (inflammation of the pleura) or maybe nodule pushing on other adjacent structures.

3. The CT thorax will bring a clear picture forward of the coin lesion and the associated chest pain.

4. You might be ordered to do some blood tests to rule out certain etiology.

5. Your age, non smoking status and absence of any other symptoms make malignancy very unlikely.

6. After the CT report, further line of management will be decided as per the nature of the nodule. If the nodule shows some suspicious characteristics then a CT guided FNAC (Fine needle aspiration cytology) may be required from the nodule.
If the nodule is benign than it may left alone and observed for a minimum of 2 years. If the nodule is infective like lung abscess, it may be treated with antibiotics. It may even be a fibrotic nodule which has resulted from some previous respiratory infection. Thus the nodule may be managed depending on the etiology of nodule.

Hope I answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if there are no further questions.

Wish you a speedy recovery.

Take care.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
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