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Is coughing blood associated with Agent Orange exposure?

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Posted on Fri, 17 Aug 2018
Question: Hello,

My husband is a Vietnam Vet who was exposed to Agent Orange. He always has sinus problems and frequent couching, and had pneumonia 3 years ago. He is 66 years old. He had a bad cold with lots of coughing, after a month he started coughing up blood. He went to the doctor who ordered a chest xray. The results state:

Findings: The heart mediastinum within normal limits and unchanged. (Chest Xray 3 years ago). Unchanged mild biapical pleuroparenchymal thickening. Continued hyperinflation with mild basilar pulmonary opacities. No focal consolidative opacities identified. Continued degenerative changes of the thoracic spine.

Impression: Continued hyperinflation with mild heterogeneous right basilar pulmonary opacities, possibly representing atelectasis and/or scarring, although infection cannot be excluded.

The doctor gave him an antibiotic and told him to report back if he continues to cough up blood. But gave no additional info.

MY QUESTION: What are the possible causes? Could he have effects from Agent Orange? Should he see a specialist?
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Answered by Dr. Varinder Joshi (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
copd

Detailed Answer:
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service.

Please see that your husband was prescribed tab Azithromycin and had controlled infection as it is a very good antibiotic.
Now your husband is having upper lobe of both lings with thickening plus collapse of some parts and major problem as emphysema.

There is degeneration changes in thoracic spine and it may be age related changes or dietary deficiency changes as calcium deficiency.

Next possibility is interstitial lung disease.

As your husband had the past history of repeated sinusitis the lung changes may be the part of broader spectrum as sinusitis is usually interlinked with emphysema and interstitial lung disease.

As there was agent orange exposure there possibility of lung cancer also.

Finally his symptoms may be age related or agent orange or disease related.

All these lung diseases are better diagnosed by chest physician pulmonologist better as he needs futher tests as HRCT plus perfusion scan and spirometry etc.

So my advise is go to pulmonologist and till then avoid smoking , air pollution, alcohol and take well nourished diet.

I also advise deep breathing exercises as these improve lung capacity.

If you have any further query then you can come back to hcm via follow up query option I will definitely help you and guide you.
If you are satisfied with my help then close the thread after rating my answer as five star.

Best of luck.

With regards,

Dr. Varinder XXXXXXX.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Answered by
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Dr. Varinder Joshi

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 2790 Questions

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Is coughing blood associated with Agent Orange exposure?

Brief Answer: copd Detailed Answer: Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. Please see that your husband was prescribed tab Azithromycin and had controlled infection as it is a very good antibiotic. Now your husband is having upper lobe of both lings with thickening plus collapse of some parts and major problem as emphysema. There is degeneration changes in thoracic spine and it may be age related changes or dietary deficiency changes as calcium deficiency. Next possibility is interstitial lung disease. As your husband had the past history of repeated sinusitis the lung changes may be the part of broader spectrum as sinusitis is usually interlinked with emphysema and interstitial lung disease. As there was agent orange exposure there possibility of lung cancer also. Finally his symptoms may be age related or agent orange or disease related. All these lung diseases are better diagnosed by chest physician pulmonologist better as he needs futher tests as HRCT plus perfusion scan and spirometry etc. So my advise is go to pulmonologist and till then avoid smoking , air pollution, alcohol and take well nourished diet. I also advise deep breathing exercises as these improve lung capacity. If you have any further query then you can come back to hcm via follow up query option I will definitely help you and guide you. If you are satisfied with my help then close the thread after rating my answer as five star. Best of luck. With regards, Dr. Varinder XXXXXXX.