Solitary Pulmonary Nodule (cont.)
Solitary Pulmonary Nodule Diagnosis
Blood tests are not diagnostic. However, the following tests may indicate whether the solitary pulmonary nodule is benign or malignant:
- Anemia (low levels of hemoglobin) or an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (speed at which red blood cells settle in anticoagulated blood) may indicate an underlying cancer or an infectious disease.
- Elevated levels of liver enzymes, alkaline phosphatase, or serum calcium may indicate that the solitary pulmonary nodule is cancerous and spreading or that cancer is spreading from other parts of the body to the lung.
- Persons who have histoplasmosis or coccidioidomycosis may have high levels of immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M antibodies specific to these fungi.
A tuberculin skin test is a simple skin test used to help determine whether the solitary pulmonary nodule has been caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis
. The test involves injecting the tuberculin antigen
(a substance that triggers the immune system to produce cells [antibodies] that attack and try to destroy the antigen) into the skin and observing the body's response. If the solitary pulmonary nodule has been caused by tuberculosis, the injection site swells and reddens.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2015
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