10910 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Ste 100
Columbia, Maryland 21044
(410) 740-3635

Pulmonary Disease

Pulmonary Medicine

Our Center operates 2 state of the art pulmonary function testing laboratories, staffed by registered/certified therapist each with over 20 years of experience.

Complete Pulmonary Care

Comprehensive Testing and Treatment
Wheezing, chronic coughing and shortness of breath can be symptoms of serious conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. But early diagnosis and treatment can help.

Non-invasive pulmonary function tests (PFTs) help our physicians discover the cause of your breathing difficulties, diagnose respiratory diseases and determine if your lungs have been damaged. Performed in-house, PFTs reveal the quantity of air you inhale, how efficiently you move that air and how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your bloodstream. These tests also help predict and measure the effectiveness of certain treatments. Our Doctors also perform bronchoscopies, which enable direct visualization of the airways, an important diagnostic tool.

In addition to testing, Howard County Center for Lung and Sleep Medicine offers comprehensive treatments and therapies to help you breathe easier. These include lifestyle modification, management of your condition with medications, smoking-cessation counseling and therapies, interventional treatment (e.g., surgery referral) and conservative therapies, including pulmonary rehab.

Pulmonary Diseases

  • Bronchitis & Bronchiectasis

    Bronchitis is inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi, the airways that carry airflow from the trachea into the lungs.

    Bronchiectasis is a disease state defined by localized, irreversible dilation of part of the bronchial tree caused by destruction of the muscle and elastic tissue.
  • Lung Disease & Lung Cancer

    Lung Disease encompasses pathological conditions affecting the organs and tissues that make gas exchange possible in higher organisms, and includes conditions of the upper respiratory tract, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, pleura and pleural cavity, and the nerves and muscles of breathing. Respiratory diseases range from mild and self-limiting, such as the common cold, to life-threatening entities like bacterial pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and lung cancer.

    Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body.
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

    Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a serious reaction to various forms of injuries or acute infection to the lung. ARDS is a severe lung syndrome (not a disease) caused by a variety of direct and indirect issues. It is characterized by inflammation of the lung parenchyma leading to impaired gas exchange with concomitant systemic release of inflammatory mediators causing inflammation, hypoxemia and frequently resulting in multiple organ failure.
  • Respiratory Failure

    Respiratory failure is inadequate gas exchange by the respiratory system, with the result that arterial oxygen and/or carbon dioxide levels cannot be maintained within their normal ranges.
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule

    A solitary pulmonary nodule (SPN) or coin lesion is a mass in the lung smaller than 3 centimeters in diameter. It can be an incidental finding found in up to 0.2% of chest X-rays and around 1% of CT scans. The nodule most commonly represents a benign tumor such as a granuloma or hamartoma, but in around 20% of cases it represents a malignant cancer.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)

    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) is the occurrence of chronic bronchitis or emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs, causing shortness of breath. COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung.
  • Tuberculosis

    Tuberculosis is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air. Most infections are asymptomatic and latent, but about one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.
  • Lung Abscesses

    Lung abscess is necrosis of the pulmonary tissue and formation of cavities containing necrotic debris or fluid caused by microbial infection.

    This pus-filled cavity is often caused by aspiration, which may occur during altered consciousness. Alcoholism is the most common condition predisposing to lung abscesses.
  • Pleural Effusion

    Pleural effusion is excess fluid that accumulates between the two pleural layers, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the lungs. Excessive amounts of such fluid can impair breathing by limiting the expansion of the lungs during ventilation.
  • Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—affecting primarily the microscopic air sacs known as alveoli. It is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria and less commonly other microorganisms, certain drugs and other conditions such as autoimmune diseases.
  • Pulmonary Hypertension

    Pulmonary Hypertension is an increase in blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein, or pulmonary capillaries, together known as the lung vasculature, leading to shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, and other symptoms, all of which are exacerbated by exertion. Pulmonary hypertension can be a severe disease with a markedly decreased exercise tolerance and heart failure.
  • Sarcoidosis

    Sarcoidosis is a disease in which abnormal collections of chronic inflammatory cells (granulomas) form as nodules in multiple organs.
  • Toxic Effect of Long-Term Tobacco Use

    Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally. Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart, liver and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis), and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer). It also causes peripheral vascular disease and hypertension. The effects depend on the number of years that a person smokes and on how much the person smokes. Starting smoking earlier in life and smoking cigarettes higher in tar increases the risk of these diseases. Also, environmental tobacco smoke, or secondhand smoke, has been shown to cause adverse health effects in people of all ages.
  • Smoking Cessation

    Smoking cessation is the process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance
  • Autoimmune Lung Disease

    Autoimmune diseases arise from an inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen and attacks its own cells.

Pulmonary Procedures

  • Pulmonary Function Tests

    Pulmonary function tests are a broad range of tests that are usually done in a health care provider's office or a specialized facility. They measure how well the lungs inhale and exhale, and how efficiently they transfer oxygen into the blood.

    A spirometry measures how well the lungs exhale. The information gathered during this test is useful in diagnosing certain types of lung disorders, and is most useful when assessing a patient for obstructive lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    A lung volume measurement detects restrictive lung diseases. In these diseases, a patient cannot inhale a normal volume of air. Restrictive lung diseases may be caused by inflammation or scarring of the lung tissue (interstitial lung disease) or by abnormalities of the muscles or skeleton of the chest wall.

    Testing the diffusion capacity (DLCO) allows an estimate of how efficiently the lungs transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.
  • Thoracentesis

    A thoracentesis is a procedure performed to remove excess fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall. This space is called the pleural space.

    Normally, the pleural space is filled with a small amount of fluid. But some conditions, such as heart failure, lung infections, and tumors, can cause more fluid to build up. This is called a pleural effusion. Too much excess fluid can put pressure on the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
  • Pleural Biopsy

    In a pleural biopsy, a small piece of tissue in the chest is removed. This biopsy can distinguish between a cancerous and non-cancerous disease. It can also help detect whether a viral, fungal, or parasitic disease is present.
  • Chest Radiography

    Chest radiography is used to obtain images of the chest to evaluate and manage lung disorders. Chest radiography testing could include a PET scan, Chest x-ray and Chest CT scan.
  • 6 Minute Walk

    The six-minute walk test is a good index of physical function and therapeutic response in patients with chronic lung disease, such as COPD or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Bronchoscopy

    Bronchoscopy is a technique of visualizing the inside of the airways for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. An instrument (bronchoscope) is inserted into the airways, usually through the nose or mouth, or occasionally through a tracheostomy. This allows the practitioner to examine the patient's airways for abnormalities such as foreign bodies, bleeding, tumors, or inflammation.