Doctor Called with CT Results - Ground Glass Question

Well my general practitioner called to give some info on the CT I had onTuesday. I have been waiting for a call from the oncologist as this CT is a follow-up to one done in Feb that showed a lung nodule.

He tells me that the nodule isn't visible like it was in Feb but is now a shadow. He then says that my lungs are ALOT worse than they were in Feb in that there is a great deal of ground glass. I asked him what that meant and he said I should discuss it with Dr. Swenson, the oncologist, on Wednesday. I persisted and he wouldn't elaborate.

I googled "ground glass in lungs" and I'm not too comforted in what I'm reading. Does anyone have any experience, information, knowledge or anything they can offer on this. It's going to be a long worrisome wait until next Wednesday to find out what's going on.



Report post

7 replies. Join the discussion

When I was diagnosed with PAH, I heard the same thing. It actually kakes sense when you finally see the results. When you look at the x-ray or whatever, you will notice that the surface of the lungs looks like a safety glass (think car windshield) when it has shattered. This is where the surface of the lung is becoming affected by scleroderma. There are several medications now that not only will help enlarge the blood vessels of the lung. There are also meds that will even help soften the surface of the lungs. Try to stay off sugar or any food that will turn to sugar in your body. I have been going through this symptom since 2004. dianne

Report post

I have Fibrosis, and I was told that ground glass is inflamation. If the inflamation is treated great, if not it turns into fibrosis. I don't know anything about nodules and shadows, sorry not to be of more help.

Report post

The ground glass is the result of inflammation. They will watch it and treat the inflammation if necessary. My plumonolgist didn't do a thing except refer me back to mym rheumatologist. He said that the progression of the disease needs to be slowed down. I also have nodules. They do not change so they are not worried.

Good luck.

Rose Ann

Report post

When my sd was diagnosed, it was discovered I had "ground glass opacities" and some fibrosis in my lungs. After 6 months of prednisone didn't help, my local rheumy and pulmonologist both said I had to go on chemo. My research on the chemo helped me decide to get an "expert" opinion from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Since my condition was not too severe, the pulmonologist there said as long as there is no change, no chemo is needed. (There was no guarantee that chemo would help and side effects could cause more serious problems.) After 4 years, my lungs remain unchanged. Proof that sometimes a second or third opinion is necessary!

That is my experience with the condition. I wish you the best with your experiences with this problem.

Report post

"Ground glass" first showed up for me five or so years ago when I was part of a lung-study trial and was sorted into the CT scan group. My rheumatologist paid no attention. I've since been with a new rheumatologist who has me on low-dose Prednisone for interstitial lung disease ("ground glass"-->inflamation, scarring, fibroids). She also referred me to a pulmonologist who diagnosed pulmonary artery hypertension secondary to scleroderma, for which I'm on Letairis. That's my history with "ground glass," which sounds scarier than it is. I don't think the two are related. Still . . . . both seem to come with the scleroderma.

Report post

I too developed some ground glass and fibrosis in my lungs diagnosed by CT. My pulmonary Function Tests were getting worse.....numbers going down. My pulmonologist also heard crackles in my lower lobes on auscultation (stethoscope), The answer to this was to stop the fibrosis via chemotherapy. I did 6 months of cytoxan, infused monthly along with Zofran for possible nausea. I finished this chemo in December and my lungs ARE better. Their are no longer crackles in my lungs and I am not as short of breath as I was before. I have yet to have another CT or PFT to undeniably (scientifically) confirm the improvement but that will be coming soon.
Chemo was no picnic and I refused it as long as I could until all my Doctors agreed it was the right time. I read a research paper that said even with chemo the patient will revert back to their same symptoms within 2 years. Sometimes research and empirical evidence in the field do not always agree so it is hard to know what to do.
Don't confuse "ground glass" with pulmonary arterial hypotension. The only way (the gold standard) they can definitely diagnose PAH is with the right sided heart catheterization. Sometimes they do an echo as a pre-secreening too to see if there is anything that looks suspicious because it is non-invasive. Hope this info helps. I would be glad to speak to anyone about these tests as I have had them all.

Report post

I have Interstitial Lung Disease/Sarcoidosis -- the ground glass is scarring of the lung tissue.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support the Scleroderma Foundation

Help the Scleroderma Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Scleroderma Foundation

Discussion topics

From the Scleroderma Foundation

Community leaders