What Are Calcified Lung Nodules?

Last Editorial Review: 6/23/2017

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What are calcified nodules in the lung?

Doctor's response

The lung has a variety of mechanisms that try to keep the lungs sterile. Sometimes small substances (grains of sand, dust, or certain organisms) get past these mechanisms and deposit in the lung tissue. The body's immune system responds to this deposition of foreign matter. In some cases, the substance can be destroyed with enzymes or cleared from the lung (sometimes by coughing); in other cases, the body walls off this foreign material into nodular densities that can calcify (meaning that there are small deposits of calcium-containing compounds), especially if any bleeding occurs. These are seen as calcified nodules on chest X-rays or CT scans. Organisms that can result in these nodules include tuberculosis, Rubella (the virus that causes German measles), and a variety of fungi.

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Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Differential diagnosis and evaluation of multiple pulmonary nodules"