What is Pleural Thickening?
Pleural thickening refers to thickening of the lining of the lung, called the pleura, which is a thin layer that covers the inside of the rib cage and the outside of the lungs.
What is Diffuse Pleural Thickening?
Diffuse pleural thickening is when the pleura thickens to the extent that it causes breathlessness. When pleural thickening is found in both lungs it is referred to as bilateral pleural thickening.
What causes Pleural Thickening?
The condition is frequently, but not exclusively, caused by exposure to asbestos dust.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis of asbestos related pleural thickening is by a chest x-ray, CT scans and lung capacity tests, combined with a history of exposure to asbestos dust.
What are the symptoms?
In normal circumstances the pleural lining allows the lungs to move smoothly while breathing. Where there is significant pleural thickening breathing can be restricted. This often causes breathlessness and tightness across the chest. The severity varies depending how extensive the thickening is.