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scarring on the lungs
Sep 27, 2000

I have had pain in my left chest and back area, especially when lying on my back and bending in certain directions.

A chest x-ray showed what the doctor said was scarring and hardened nodules. He said it looks like TB, but a sputum test came out negative. Since I have no other symptoms, the doctor says there is no way he can make a diagnosis and no way to stop the pain. He adds that the scarring might be the result of previous bout of bronchitis. Could this be right, and is there really no way to fix this quite annoying pain? I'm on Viracept, Zerit and 3TC. My viral load is under 50, and CD4 is 250 (up from 69 a year ago). Thanks very much for your help.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If there are abnormalities on chest X-ray and you have persistent symptoms, you can get a high-resolution chest CT scan to get more information on what might be going on in your lungs. But the nature of your discomfort leads me to think that the problem is in the chest wall or back muscles, since the pain is positional (related to change of position). A trial of anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy , and therapeutic massage may make a big difference.


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