What Causes Calcification in the Lungs?
Calcification in the lungs, which implies the accumulation of calcium deposits in the organ, results from a number of diseases and risk factors, according to Arch Bronconeumol. Also known as pulmonary calcification, it is associated with conditions such as chronic kidney failure, lung amyloidosis and infection. Risk factors for the condition include alveolar damage, hypercalcemia and alkalosis.
According to PubMed, calcification in the lungs can occur alongside several systemic and pulmonary complications. Predisposing factors include previous lung trauma, excessive alkaline phosphatase activity and mitogenic impact of growth factors. The condition is clinically split into two categories: metastatic calcification, which defines the accumulation of calcium deposit in an otherwise healthy lung, and dystrophic calcification, which affects a previously injured lung.
In most cases, calcium deposits in the lungs are no cause for medical concern, as MSN asserts. Also, a number of diagnostic methods may fail to reveal the underlying condition when calcium deposits are detected in the lungs. Imaging methods such as chest radiography and computed tomographic scanning are employed to help detect pulmonary calcification, according to PubMed.
In rare cases, calcified nodules can be cancerous. Usually, the nodules are a sign of lung cancer or they can be tumors that have metastasized from another cancer in the body, says the Beth Israel Lung Nodule Center. Most patients with malignant calcified nodules have a predisposition to lung cancer or engaged in risk factors for the cancer, such as smoking. Exposure to toxic materials might contribute to the growth of malignant nodules in the lungs.
MSN states that the appearance of calcium deposits in lungs as shown on imaging results can help establish the underlying condition. A patient is advised to talk to his doctor about the findings and decide if further diagnostic procedures are necessary.