I am a 42-year old male, non-smoker, with no history of respiratory
problems. I was recently diagnosed with bronchitis/COPD/asthma which
has been causing shortness of breath and bronchospasms (asthma
attacks) over the past month. Started as a cold/congestion, evolved to
cough, then breathing problems (inflammation). Currently being treated
with antibiotics and advair & xopenex, and recovering (symptoms mostly
gone, mild tightness of chest, mild chest pain remains).
As part of diagnosis (to rule out pneumonia), doctor ordered chest
X-Ray last week. I have detailed the findings below. Basically, it is
abnormal with a 1.5-cm mass. What exactly is a "ductus aneurysm"? What
are the chances that this "mass" is simply due to the
infection/congestion because of bronchitis? Is that what "adenopathy"
A chest X-Ray taken in April (as part of routine check-up) was normal,
though there is always a chance they missed the "mass". Is that too
big to "miss"? Can it grow 1.5-cm in a month (if it is a tumor)?
I want to wait at least a month for my bronchitis to fully clear
before taking another X-Ray, and possibly CT scans etc. I am
self-insured with a high-deductible insurance plan, so I will be
paying out of pocket. Hence, the hesitation in proceeding with the
recommended CT scans. Thanks for any suggestions on the odds of this
"mass" just going away with the resolution of the bronchitis.
=== Chest X-Ray report ====
Two views of the chest were obtained and demonstrate a 1.5-cm mass
protruding from the left AP window. A ductus aneurysm would be a
consideration but confirmation would require a CT chest with contrast
with attention to the aortic arch and AP window. A mass or adenopathy
cannot be excluded. Pulmonary arteries are slightly prominent. Lungs
are midly hyperinflated and hyperlucent. Correlate with any history of
COPD or asthma. No focal infiltrates or effusions noted. Broad based
minor mid dorsal dextroscoliosis curve is noted. Heart size is small.
There is a left AP window 1.5-cm mass possibly a ductus aneurysm. This
could be further confirmed by contrast enhanced CT chest study. Other
alternative would be to compare this with old films to assess for
stability. Adenopathy or mass of other etiology cannot be excluded.
Hi! I'm sorry you've received test results that are worrying you. I am not a doctor, of course, but I suppose you need to decide whether you would rather be in debt/ have financial worries as a result of investigating this mass, and potentially finding out that it is nothing; or potentially be diagnosed with advanced cancer or experience a burst aneurysm somewhere down the track because you decided not to investigate this. My understanding of "adenopathy" is enlarged lymph nodes which is most commonly a natural sign of fighting infection, but can also be a sign of rarer but more sinister conditions. If you google these terms that gives you some further understanding.
I would always pursue an investigation of anything abnormal in my body, as you only get one life, and peace of mind is important to me. But ultimately it's up to you. As a compromise you could wait until you are well clear of this infection/ the symptoms (I am assuming it's an infection because of the antibiotics helping) - assuming that the symptoms do go away - then have another X-ray done. Good luck!
@gumnut: Thanks for the response. My symptoms are fully resolved within 1 week of taking the antibiotics, so it was clearly an infection. I am now normal -- breathe normally, no shortness of breath, no aches/fever etc. I am going to wait for at least a month before taking another x-ray. It is most likely just an inflammation of the lymph node in the AP window (lymphadenopathy) -- at least that's what I got through googling.