What does Pleural Scarring/Thickening... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

45,852 members54,057 posts

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

13 Replies

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.

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.

Amen. Google is NOT a doctor! If it were I’m already clinically dead. Goggle has kept me up the entire night on occasion just stressing out to afraid to even close my eyes and so worked up I’ve woken my husband up in a panic trying to summarize what I read insisting” this is IT”! So yeah I get that google thing and may I add -stay off it at night for sure- FREAKS COME OUT AT NIGHT! Who knows that song?

I don’t feel so alone. Thanks for that I’m another one who was told I had Emphysema, which I replied” I really don’t think so” then a follow up with my PCP( same as GP) Who said” I don’t think you have Emphysema” so who’s right and who’s wrong? Surely there must be a more accurate standardized test that would give a more accurate or a clear yes/no black/white answer on it. Guess that’s why they’re the big money-what a fricken joke in my opinion.

Hello, I realize you posted this 2 years ago, and I'm sure hoping that you have had treatment or other information. I was just diagnosed with Apical Pleural thickening and don't know a thing about it. could you tell me about it. like you, I don't remember haveing any infections, but I use to be a cigarette smoker but quit 22 years ago and I was also a pot smoker as well and also quit that at the same time. I'm wondering if this progresses, and if so how fast does it progress. i am terrified.

Hello, I don't think I can be much help. I've seen two different pulmonoligist and neither mentioned it. My family MD described it as a part of aging in some people and called it capping or Apical Cap. I personally still feel there is a definite link between the pleural thickening and my emphysema diagnosis or whatever it is I have. Here is a good read on the topic ajronline.org/doi/pdf/10.22...

awesome thank you.

Now I'm wondering about my hubbys new diagnosis of Emphysema, that terrifies me. he has no symptom yet and it was found on a routine chest x ray. I believe a person can go a good 20 plus years, I HOPE.

Sandyeggo in reply to PhoebeIsMe

Hey that’s a super cool pic you’ve got with your top secret code name. All these comical things we come up with that we all think is super top secret with our identity’s-not our health issues-nothing funny there but a lot of doctors that I think got straight D’s in school and therefore are really not all as smart as we think they’re supposed to be

PhoebeIsMe in reply to Sandyeggo

for sure no jokes intended. I used a screen name because I wasn't sure if the site wanted me to actually use my name or not and I joined this community because I'm terrified for my hubby and anyone else that has any kind of COPD. I have been through this illness before with my Mother and it about killed me. I feel the pain of this illness everyday even though my hubby is not symptomatic yet, I know eventually he will be and I'm trying to refresh my memory of how long it takes before he gets bad. I just can't remember how long my mom was first diagnosed until she reached stage 4. I sure hope all is okay for you Ms. SandyEggo.

You may also like...