My brother has experienced difficulty breathing at times. Why so?

Q. What could be the reason for shortness of breath?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 23, 2023 and last reviewed on: Jul 21, 2023

Hello doctor,

I want to get a consultation on the computed tomography (CT) scan reports of my brother. He has experienced difficulty breathing at times. Why so? Please help.



Welcome to I went through your query and understood your concern. I went through the reports (the attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). It seems your brother has been suffering from upper back pain and breathing difficulties occasionally for the past few months. His high-resolution computed tomography of the chest reveals a few fibro atelectatic opacities in the right middle lobe, left upper lobe as well as left lower lobe with bronchitis and few mediastinal lymph nodes. Fibrotic opacities generally mean an inflammation that has healed. Fibrotic opacities may indicate those portions of the lung are suffering from ventilation as atelectatic changes occur when the lung portions called alveoli are not able to inflate. Such types of radiological pictures may be derived from bronchitis and some other lung diseases. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the airways in the lungs due to infection. The presence of mediastinal lymph nodes may indicate the inflammation of some lung portions due to bronchitis. I suggest you get further investigations such as computed tomography-guided biopsy, endobronchial ultrasound fine needle aspiration, or endoscopic ultrasound fine needle aspiration to confirm the diagnosis. Smoking is also a cause that can show such types of radiological pictures. Albuterol (Salbutamol) inhalers can be used with or without antibiotics. Kindly consult a specialist, and talk with them. and take medicines with their consent. I hope this has helped you. Thanks and regards.

Hello doctor,

Thanks for your reply. We will get the additional tests done as suggested by you. Please help.



Welcome back to It seems your brother is diagnosed case of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The medications which are used in the treatment of AS as well as AS itself may cause such clinical features and radiological pictures. So, I suggest he avoid smoking, take plenty of fluids, and proper nutrition. He should take proper rest and an Albuterol (Salbutamol) inhaler for breathing difficulties, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for relieving pain, and antibiotics in case of infection. It may take up to three weeks for these symptoms to resolve. Kindly consult a specialist, talk with them, and take medications with their consent. I hope this has helped you. Thanks and regards.

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