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Benign Pleural Diseases



Benign Pleural Disease usually appears before fibrosis. It happens in the interior side of the lung (pleura). Pleural plaques are patches of thickening of the pleural membrane. They can be seen on an X-ray and are a pointer of past asbestos exposure. But they are not in themselves a reason of lung disease.

Non-cancerous conditions can be caused by asbestos exposure, most of which fall into the Benign Pleural Disease category. These diseases influence the pleura, which is a fluid filled sac between the lungs and the body hole that enables lung to move properly while breathing. Some other symptoms are shown by people with these conditions, and they can be revealed only with X-Rays and CAT scans. In spite of these diseases are not cancerous, they still demand prompt medical attention.

There are three main types of Benign Pleural Diseases, each of which is unique.

Firstly, it is pleural plaques. Pleural plaque is the stiffening of the pleura, as hardening of arteries in arteriosclerosis. The pleura to become thick and scaly when asbestos fibers enter the lungs. Plaques rarely forestall lung function, and their occurrence still needs a proper explanation from scientists.

Secondly, much more serious is Benign Pleural Disease. Pleural Fibrosis appears when asbestos particles intrude the pleural liquid and thicken it significantly. The thickness of the pleural fluid inhibits lung movement which is a much graver condition, causing shortness of breath and tough breathing. Pleural fibrosis can cause susceptibility to other lung conditions, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, but it is still not life threatening.

Finally, the final type of Benign Pleural Disease is Pleural Diffusion. Exposure to asbestos causes accumulation of pleural fluid in the pleural cavity. While rarely life threatening, this liquid must be drained to guarantee proper health. Victims should not be soothed by the benign nature of this condition; nevertheless it can often lead to other more serious disabilities.

Suffering from any of these conditions may not directly threaten your life, but it still indicates that you have been exposed to big quantities of asbestos at some point. Patients with Benign Pleura Disease will be frequently monitored by doctors to prevent any conditions that could lead to mesothelioma.

Benign and malicious diseases may cause extend pleural anomalies. Asbestos-related pleural fibrosis, fibrothorax, emphysema, metastatic disease and mesothelioma are the most common origins. The characteristic computed tomography (CT) appearances of these and other extend pleural diseases have been described (1). Nevertheless, the role of CT in the differential diagnosis of diffuse pleural disease was analyzed during a few studies (1-5). Since extend pleural anomalies ordinary consist of various degrees of pleural thickening, calcification and effusion, an overlap of the CT explanations of the different benign and malicious pleural diseases would be expected.

The CT distinguishing of benign and malicious pleural disease is important because it is often difficult to make the specific diagnosis by clinical criteria, pleurocentesis and percutaneous pleural biopsy. Not surprisingly, a diagnostic thoracotomy is needed because of the require to evaluate the growth pattern of disease and to receive a relatively significant amount of tissue for histological, immunocytochemical and ultrastructural studies (6).

Early dissemination of benign and malicious pleural diseases is vital for the cure and prognosis of a patient.

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