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Lung Pleural Thickening
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Lung Pleural Thickening

34 year old male.  I received results back from a body CT scan.  The scan of my lungs showed Minimal Focal Pleural Thickening in both lungs.  I have researched this some and have found that this may be caused from exposure to asbestos.  I also have notice recently some shortness of breath, but felt it was due to lack of daily excercise.  There is a strong possibility that I have been exposed to asbestos years ago.  Should there be a cause for alarm?  Is there a cure or medication that can be prescribed to reverse or stop the process?  What should the prevenative measures be to keep this from progressing into something more serious?  I plan on making an appointment with my Doctor and going over the findings with him as well.  Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for visiting the family practice forum.
Certainly asbestos exposure will cause some pleural lung thickening and the best preventative measures you can take is to avoid further exposure of your lungs to irritants including smoke.
Symptoms of "asbestosis" are related to loss of the elasticity of the lung tissue. The first symptoms are mild shortness of breath along with decreased ability to exercise.
In rare cases asbestos will cause tumors of the "pleura" called MESOTHELIOMAS. It doesn't sound like this is the case with you. (i.e. would have showed up on the CT scan).
It may be a wise choice to have pulmonary function testing (PFTs). If this testing revealed any evidence of decreased lung function, I would consider the use of some inhaled medications such as atrovent/albuterol to help improve your breathing.
Understand, it is quite likely that your PFTs will be fine even though "pleural thickening" was present on CT.
Again ... avoiding smoke an other lung irritants is the best PREVENTATIVE advice I can give you. The changes seen on the CT (pleural thickening) will likely persist, but limiting exposure to lung irritants will prevent them from getting worse.

I wish you well!
Dean M. Tomasello, M.D.
1 Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
What is asbestos, and how would one know if they were exposed to it? Is it striclty a industrial agent or is it housholds etc?  I have alot of respiratory problems and I find it very interesting to read the above post as alot of the symptoms relate to mine.  I wonder if I should go be checked for some things.  Probobly not asbestos, but just curious in general anyhow.
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Avatar_n_tn
Asbestos used to be used quite commonly in different types of building materials in houses/buildings (i.e. ceiling tiles, insulation). The best way to determine if you have any lung damage from asbestos or any other inhaled particles is to have a chest Xray and Pulmonary Function Testing.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have recently had a CT reveal pleural thickening.  Back in Dec. I contracted some weird illness that totally crippled me in pain.  I couldn't walk because of this pain, I couldn't even lift the blankets off myself or pull up my own brastraps.  The pain was mostly in the joints of my extremities but it was also in my upper arms and the backs of my thighs.  I have been to numerous doctors and specialists.  Has anyone out there had any similar illness.  Also, can this pleural thickening be caused by smoking?  I have smoked for about 30 years.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have recently had a CT reveal pleural thickening.  Back in Dec. I contracted some weird illness that totally crippled me in pain.  I couldn't walk because of this pain, I couldn't even lift the blankets off myself or pull up my own brastraps.  The pain was mostly in the joints of my extremities but it was also in my upper arms and the backs of my thighs.  I have been to numerous doctors and specialists.  Has anyone out there had any similar illness.  Also, can this pleural thickening be caused by smoking?  I have smoked for about 30 years.
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