Cystic lung disease

Cystic lung disease

Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
Cystic lung disease | cancerGO

What is Cystic lung disease?

Cystic lung disease is a condition that causes cysts or fluid-filled sacs to form in the lungs. These cysts can interfere with normal lung function and lead to a variety of symptoms. Here’s an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of cystic lung disease.


The symptoms of cystic lung disease can vary depending on the type and severity of the type of disease someone has. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Recurrent lung infections
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid breathing
  • Unintentional weight loss


To diagnose cystic lung disease, a doctor will perform a physical exam, review the patient’s medical history, and order various tests. These may include:

  • Chest X-ray: This can provide a quick look at the lungs and identify any cysts or abnormalities that may be present
  • CT scan: A CT scan can provide more detailed images of the lungs, making it easier to identify cysts and assess their size and location.
  • Pulmonary function tests: These tests can assess lung function and determine if cysts are interfering with breathing.
  • Bronchoscopy: In some cases, a bronchoscopy may be performed to view the inside of the lungs and collect tissue samples for analysis.


The treatment for cystic lung disease depends on the type and severity of the disease, as well as the patient’s overall health. Some common treatments include:

  • Watchful waiting: If the cysts are small and not causing symptoms, the doctor may opt to monitor them over time and provide treatment only if the cysts grow or start to cause problems.
  • Medications: In some cases, medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms such as inflammation, pain, and infections.
  • Surgery: If the cysts are large or causing severe symptoms, surgery may be necessary to remove them. This can involve a variety of techniques, including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) or open surgery.
  • Lung transplant: In some cases, a lung transplant may be necessary if the cysts are severely impacting lung function.


The prognosis for cystic lung disease depends on many factors, including the type and severity of the disease, as well as the patient’s overall health. In general, early detection and treatment are important for improving outcomes for patients with cystic lung disease.


Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
Julie is an oncology certified Oncology Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of medical oncology experience. In addition to her clinical work, she is an accomplished healthcare writer providing oncology content for various publications. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member for a Master's nursing program and a chair for Doctoral nursing students.

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