Dear COPD Doctor,
When I had a regular CT scan I was told I had pan lobular mild emphysema. A year ago on an HRCT scan, there was no mention of emphysema at all. Since the regular CT scan and the emphysema diagnosis, I have had an Alpha-1 test which showed I was negative (not deficient). I have had a spirometry test (normal), and another CT (no mention of emphysema (this was not an HRCT scan).
I can’t figure out whether I have this disease or not. If it is pan-lobular emphysema, and I am not Alpha-1 deficient, will it still progress faster than the normal emphysema? I have very frequent lung infections and asthma. I have 4 young children and I am a single mom so I really need to know what to do.
–What’s My Diagnosis?
I can certainly understand your concern. When you get conflicting opinions from medical tests it can be both scary and frustrating. What you need to understand is that the tests you took were varied on what they were able to show. High resolution scans (HRCT) can show more detail than regular
scans. If the spirometry shows your lung function is normal you probably don’t have worrisome emphysema.
Probably the best course of action for you if you are concerned is to take your scans and other test results to a pulmonary specialist and get an opinion. If you smoke, you should definitely take this as a warning and quit!
I hope this helps and my sincere best wishes!
–The COPD Doctor
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