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What is lung nodular density and atelectasis?

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Lung nodular density is a measurement that indicates whether a lung nodule is malignant, states the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Atelectasis is the partial or complete collapse of a lung or its lobe, states Mayo Clinic. It develops when tiny lung air sacs deflate, which is common after surgery.

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Full Answer

Small tissue masses in lungs, called lung nodules, are very common and are usually noncancerous, notes Mayo Clinic. The density of a nodule is measured in Hounsfield units, or HU, notes the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Studies have shown that an increase in lung nodular density indicates malignancy. In such cases, a biopsy can confirm whether the growth is cancerous.

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