Benign asbestos-related pleuropulmonary diseases
Among the non malignant diseases related to asbestos exposure, pleural plaques are the most frequent. Pleural effusion and diffuse pleural thickening, as well as asbestosis, are uncommon nowadays in asbestos-exposed screened populations.
Despite the absence of any useful treatment, accurate diagnoses of these diseases are needed for two reasons: on the one hand in order to save patients from anxiety related to diagnostic and prognostic discrepancies, and on the other hand in order to ensure a proper attribution of the high social and financial compensations which are provided in France for asbestos affected patients.
CT scan of the thorax is the most sensitive and specific tool for a precise diagnosis of these lesions, but it often displays minute abnormalities which may give rise to major diagnostic discordances, owing to the absence of any tomodensitometric refe-rence in populations proved to be free from any asbestos exposure.
There is a need to seek for a suitable standardization of imaging technique and interpretation, for a consensus in the characte-rization of CTscan abnormalities that warrant compensation, and for a careful medico-psychologic assistance for patients affected by asbestos-related benign diseases.
© 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.