Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2002 - Volume 9 - Issue 2 > Special Report: Asbestos-Induced Pleural Plaques—A Disease P...
Clinical Pulmonary Medicine:
Topics In Pulmonary Medicine

Special Report: Asbestos-Induced Pleural Plaques—A Disease Process Associated With Ventilatory Impairment and Respiratory Symptoms

Rockoff, S. David MD, FCCP*; Chu, Jayne MD†; Rubin, Lewis J. MD, FCCP†

Section Editor(s): do Pico, Guillermo MD FCCP, Associate Editor

Collapse Box


Diffuse pleural thickening and circumscribed pleural plaques are two nonmalignant pleural diseases caused by asbestos exposure. It has generally been accepted that diffuse pleural thickening is associated with measurable pulmonary impairment and clinical symptoms; however, the functional impact of asbestos-induced pleural plaques still remains controversial. Recent literature suggests that asbestos-induced pleural plaques are associated with ventilatory impairment and respiratory symptoms. We critically analyzed the literature from 1965 to 1999 evaluating this potential relationship. We conclude that: (1) individuals with asbestos-induced pleural plaques may have alterations in pulmonary function and/or clinical symptoms that are independent of smoking and radiographic parenchymal fibrosis; and (2) the respiratory changes due to asbestos-induced pleural plaques are generally less severe than those caused by diffuse pleural thickening. The mechanism of the pulmonary functional changes associated with pleural plaques has not been elucidated.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.