Calcified pleural plaques

Case contributed by Dr Brian Gilcrease-Garcia


Shortness of breath.

Patient Data

Age: 65 years
Gender: Male
  • bilateral calcified pleural plaques, involving diaphragmatic and anterolateral pleural surfaces
  • right internal jugular central venous port catheter in expected position
  • ununited right proximal humerus fracture
  • clear lungs

3 months later, during hospitalization for pneumonia

Subsequent CT (performed several months later during admission for pneumonia, acute respiratory failure) study confirms distribution of the pleural plaques, even shows scattered plaques along posterior pleural surface.

Otherwise, clinically significant findings include: endotracheal tube in expected position, bilateral pulmonary consolidations, small pleural effusions, and 3-vessel calcified coronary artery disease.

Case Discussion

Extensive, bilateral calcified pleural plaques suggest a history of asbestos exposure. There are no findings, such as interstitial coarsening, to suggest pulmonary fibrosis (i.e. asbestosis).

CT chest performed 3 months later confirmed the findings, showing in much higher detail the distribution of pleural plaques.

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Case information

rID: 65776
Published: 23rd Jan 2019
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded
Institution: Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University

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