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Inhalation of airborne Asbestos fibres into the lung can cause damage...


The pleura consists of a double layered membrane which surrounds the lungs and lines the inside of the rib cage. Certain asbestos fibres inhaled into the lungs manipulate their way out to the pleura and can cause fibrosis or scaring to occur there. This has the effect of causing the pleura to thicken and therefore may show up on a chest X Ray.


Pleural thickening occurs in two forms:


Diffuse pleural thickening

This is where extensive scarring extends over a large area and may restrict expansion of the lungs, leading to possible chest pain and breathlessness.


While the damage is irreversible, there are some treatment options available. Your doctor will be able to advise how best to treat the disease’s symptoms. This may involve pain medications, steroids and/or antibiotics.


Smoking can lead to decreased lung function.  It is recommend that patients stop smoking if diagnosed with pleural thickening, this may also reduce their risk of developing more serious lung diseases.


Pleural plaques

These are localised areas of pleural thickening which normally do not interfere with breathing. In most cases they are not dangerous and do not cause any symptoms.


In most cases no treatment is required.



Pleural thickening

Diffuse pleural thickening

Pleural plaques


Asbestos related lung cancer


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