Calcified Granuloma: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What is Calcified Granuloma?
To understand what Calcified Granuloma means we first need to understand what granuloma is and what causes its development. Granulomas are sort of small nodules or lesions which can develop in any organ of the body but is normally seen in the lungs, liver, and kidneys as a result of inflammation. This inflammation is usually caused due to an infection by either bacteria or fungi. When these granulomas are left untreated for a period of time then calcium starts to accumulate in these nodules making them hard and that is what we refer to as Calcified Granuloma.
Calcified Granuloma is normally seen in the lungs and rarely in the liver and kidneys or other organs of the body. Calcification of the granuloma causes the granuloma to become hard and more prominent. Calcified Granuloma nevertheless is harmless nodules and very rarely requires any sort of treatment unless they become very large and dense in which case a removal is recommended. Otherwise, there are no particular health concerns with Calcified Granuloma. Just like normal form of granuloma, Calcified Granuloma is also asymptomatic in majority of cases and are found incidentally when studies are being conducted to rule out some other medical condition.
What are the Causes of Calcified Granuloma?
Majority of Calcified Granulomas are caused due to bacteria or fungal infections. Calcified Granuloma are so asymptomatic that an affected individual will not even know that he or she has a fungal infection which is causing development of Calcified Granuloma. The bacteria most likely to cause Calcified Granuloma are mycobacteria which include tuberculosis or other organisms which are referred collectively as nontuberculous mycobacteria. These types of bacteria are found in abundance in contaminated water and soil.
Fungi that may cause Calcified Granuloma include Histoplasma, Coccidioides, and Cryptococcus. These are found in abundance in soil and bird droppings. When the spores of these fungi open and inhaled, they cause lung infections which result in the development of Granuloma which over time gets calcified resulting in Calcified Granuloma. Rarely, certain other infections may also cause Calcified Granuloma.
What are the Symptoms of Calcified Granuloma?
In majority of the cases, Calcified Granuloma does not produce any symptoms. Even if they are severe enough to cause symptoms the symptoms will depend on the location and size of the Calcified Granuloma. In case of Calcified Granuloma in the lungs, the affected individual may have symptoms of shortness of breath, chest heaviness, coughing, and at times hemoptysis.
How is Calcified Granuloma Diagnosed?
As stated, since Calcified Granuloma does not cause any symptoms it is difficult to diagnose them. In cases where certain symptoms are observed they are so mild that to pinpoint it to Calcified Granuloma is very difficult. In majority of the cases, Calcified Granuloma is diagnosed incidentally when a radiological study in the form of an x-ray or a CT scan is being done to rule out certain other medical condition. In cases if the calcification of the granuloma is very severe it can be clearly seen on radiological images but in case if the granuloma has not completely calcified it may resemble a tumor and a biopsy may be taken to rule it out.
How is Calcified Granuloma Treated?
In majority of the cases Calcified Granuloma does not require any form of treatment. The only treatment done is close observation to check on the status of the nodules to see whether they are growing in size or not. In cases where the size of the nodules is significantly large to the extent that it affects the functioning of the organ then it is recommended that these nodules be removed. The location of the Calcified Granuloma is also taken into account before removing them.
If the granuloma appears to be a tumor rather than a granuloma then in that case also it is recommended that the nodules be removed to rule out cancer. Other than this, if the cause of the Calcified Granuloma is identified then treatment is aimed at eliminating the cause. If Calcified Granuloma is caused due to bacterial infection then antibiotics will be prescribed to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection. Antifungal medication will be prescribed for treatment of fungal infections resulting in Calcified Granuloma.