British Lung Foundation
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What does Pleural Scarring/Thickening mean?

I have anxiety & I've went to the ER many times over the past 10 years due to palpitations or anxiety related breathing issues, no telling how many Chest X-rays I've had but in 2012 one showed pleural thickening at the lung apices, my GP said it was capping "age related" or old scar tissue from past lung infections, nothing to worry about but I don't remember having any infection I was aware of... My last CT in Dec 2014 stated apical pleural scarring bilateral, no consolidation, pleural effusion or suspicious lung nodules but the pulmonologist never mentioned anything about it. I know you guys are not doctors but just curious

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It means scarring of the pleural membrane which surrounds the lungs, usually following a severe infection. I have masses of that, consolidation and constant pleural effusion and I am still going. Lots of people have some pleural scarring from infections and it doesn't mean anything serious. Try not to worry and just make sure that if you get chest infections in future you get treatment quickly. If you get lots of infections get referred to a respiratory consultant. Happy breathing!


JollyRancher11 I am a 55 year old male. I was a smoker for 25 years but have quit smoking recently. I recently suffered from pneumonia & the next chest x-ray showed pleural thickening. I am very tensed about asbestos diseases. Can you please update your condition now? Do you have any asbestos related disease? What was the cause of your pleural thickening?


Hello, My scarring showed up on a x-ray kinda out the blue in 2012, I'd had several actually many x-rays months prior that and did not show anything "always clear". Unlike you I did not have a infection/pneumonia which can cause scarring so of course I hit the internet for answers so I asked my GP told & me it was from a past infection I never recall having or age capping of the lungs which is common. This Pleural thickening bothered me for a while considering I've worked in automotive, aviation and factory but he told me not to worry so I let it go... The odd thing in 2014 I was diagnosed with emphysema by a pulmonologist, I'm seeing a second pulmonary doctor that says it's not emphysema who is in the process of running more test. I did however tell him my work history which he took note of. So far I have not been diagnosed with any asbestos related disease. Personally I think in my case there is a relationship between the out the scarring and the CT that showed emphysema in the Paraseptal areas of my lungs which I think is the upper region of the lungs although I have not been told that. I feel like I'll have a accurate diagnosis once this doctor is finished.

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JollyRancher11 Did you had TB or any pleural effusion? I had some pleural effusion along with that pneumonia. I am very scared about thickening. I saw on the internet that the most common cause is asbestos diseases. Its true that many years back I used to live in a room with asbestos roof. But I have never directly worked with asbestos related things


Hi, had neither. Perhaps you should talk with your doctor about your concerns and see if he/she wants to run further testing. My biological mother also has scarring which I found out a few weeks ago and the pulmonary doctor said she was fine that it was from past infections. I try to leave Google alone because it only creates stress and anxiety for me.


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