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What does the term "glass lung" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

The term "glass lung," or ground-glass opacity, refers to a nonspecific finding where an area of the lung appears hazy on a CT scan. This may indicate an infection, an acute alveolar disease or other causes.

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Full Answer

The hazy image of the lung can be caused by any of various reasons, such as air spaces, partial collapse of alveoli, inflammation and interstitial thickening.

A specific area on the lung that is shown to be affected is called a ground-glass density nodule. To find all the ground-glass nodules in a person's lungs, numerous CT scans are necessary. It has been shown that low-dose CT scans reduce the mortality rate in people with lung cancer.

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