Asbestos-related pleural fibrosis; Fibrous pleural plaque; Hyaline pleural plaques
Pleural plaques are focal, benign tumorlike lesions that arise from the epithelial lining of the thoracic cavity in response to chronic injury. They almost always occur in the setting of asbestos exposure but may also be seen in other pneumoconioses. Pleural plaques are the most common manifestation of asbestos inhalation and are an indicator of asbestos exposure according to the American Thoracic Society (2003). The specificity of pleural plaques as a marker for asbestos exposure is 80–90%. Plaques take years to develop and are rarely seen within 20 years after the first exposure; incidence increases with time from first exposure.
The process of pleural plaque formation is not itself malignant. However plaque formation implies a certain level of asbestos exposure, as the threshold for disease has been reached. Determining the absolute amount and type of dust to which a person has...
References and Further Reading
- Guidotti, T. L., Miller, A., Christiani, D., et al. (2004). Ad Hoc Statement Committee of the Scientific Assembly on Environmental and Occupational Health of the American Thoracic Society. Diagnosis and initial management of nonmalignant diseases related to asbestos. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 170, 691–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Paris, C., Martin, A., Letourneux, M., & Wild, P. (2008). Modelling prevalence and incidence of fibrosis and pleural plaques in asbestos-exposed populations for screening and follow-up: A cross-sectional study. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 7, 30-069X-7-30.Google Scholar