Does pneumonia leave a scar on the lungs? The quick answer to this question is not necessarily in most cases. Lung scarring can be caused due to variety of reasons one of which is called interstitial pneumonitis. Interstitial pneumonitis is inflammation without infection. It usually affects all the four lobes of the lungs making it difficult to breathe and it often leaves a scar.
So, if you had certain rare types of pneumonia, it is possible you had some lung scarring but that is usually confined to one section of the lung and is not progressive. The other kind of scarring usually affects the entire lungs and is often progressive.
If you develop a certain type of pneumonia where the attacking bacteria or virus is particularly aggressive, or your immune system is not strong enough to deal with such viruses or bacteria, the bug may multiply rapidly to invade the whole area of the lung tissue. This may occur in an entire lobe of the lung or be scattered throughout both lungs as in bronchopneumonia. When the lining (pleura) of the lung becomes affected, the infective process will cause the lung to adhere to the pleura to produce the pain of pleurisy. Then, as the condition becomes walled off by our defending white blood cells, the inflammatory response will sometimes results in scarring. It is equally likely that an area of infection within the lung will be contained by the body’s immune response and that scar tissue will develops. These changes will often produce an appearance of thickening, or scarring on taking the X-ray of lungs.
With the passage of time, the inflammatory response will subside and the scarring will diminish steadily as times goes by, and there will be corresponding improvement in air entry to the damaged lung, and return towards normal lung function. In most circumstances the scarring will diminish, even if it does not entirely disappear after a bout of pneumonia.
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