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Asbestos-Related Pleural Effusion

Overview

Pleural space is the gap in the lung where the pleural fluid stays. This fluid safeguards the lung from external bruise and tear, but during the accidents and trauma the lungs get damaged and more amount of pleural fluid is produced. Asbestos-related pleural effusion is a condition where there is more production of pleural fluid due to certain kinds of working environments. This disease is often seen in automotive workers, construction workers and shipfitters.


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Causes

The asbestos is a fine man-made fiber used for various works. These fine asbestos particles if inhaled over the years may invoke a hemorrhagic response in the lungs of the patients.  These inhaled fibers are later coated with ferritin-like materials in the lung and that results in ferruginous bodies. These ferruginous bodies then damage the respiratory bronchioles and alveoli. These ferruginous bodies may affect the lower lobes of the body first and the cardiac silhouette may become shaggy.


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Signs & Symptoms

The patient may suffer from the following symptoms:-

  • The patient may develop pleural plaque in the mid lung.

  • Most of the time, the pleural plaque are bilateral in nature.

  • These plaques are mostly produced in the 6th to 9th interspace area.

  • The patient may also complain of diffuse pleural thickening.

  • It mostly involves lateral pleural thickening, diaphragmatic pleura and blunting of costophrenic sulci.

  • Pleural calcification is also seen in around 50% of the patients, especially the ones suffering from diaphragmatic pleura.

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Prevention

The asbestos related pleural effusion can be avoided by wearing face masks during the working in certain areas where the work of asbestos occurs.


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Treatments
Surgery Modern Medicine

A surgery called pleurodesis is done to remove the excessive pleural fluid from the pleura. It may also help to prevent the fluid from building up again. Surgery is also done to remove the calcified part of the lungs and fluid.  

Surgery Modern Medicine

A surgery called pleurodesis is done to remove the excessive pleural fluid from the pleura. It may also help to prevent the fluid from building up again. Surgery is also done to remove the calcified part of the lungs and fluid.  

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