Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1984;10(6):473-479    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2320

Pleural changes and exposure to fibrous minerals.

by Hillerdal G

The pleura is a main target for various reactions related to asbestos exposure. However there are great radiological and clinical differences between the various reactions, and there is also increasing evidence that they have different prognoses. The main reactions are pleural plaques on the one hand and acute pleurisy and diffuse pleural fibrosis on the other. In a population with a low mesothelioma risk, the anthophyllite-exposed population of Northern Karelia in Finland, there are very few reactions of the second type, while plaques are very common. In Turkey, where the exposure is to erionite, the mesothelioma level is extremely high, and reactions of type two are very common in the exposed population. Thus it seems that careful discrimination of the various pleural changes can have prognostic value. There are also indications that plaques do not have any relation to a disturbed immunologic system, while pleurisy and diffuse pleurisy have.