Show MenuHide Menu

Category Archives: Tables

The Effects Of Asbestos On The Lung And Outcome

May 27, 2009











The following  table shows information concerning duration of exposure to asbestos, type of  asbestos related disease, symptoms, and outcome.

Pleural Plaques

Asbestos bodies exposure – Light
Chest X-ray – Normal
Lung Function – Mild restrictive ventilatory defect
Symptoms – Rare, occasional mild effort, dyspnoea
Outcome – No other sequelae


Asbestos bodies exposure – First two decades following exposure
Chest X-ray – Pleural thickening (parietal pleura), calcification (diaphragmatic pleura)
Lung Function – Restrictive
Symptoms – Pleuritic pain, dyspnoea
Outcome – Often recurrent

Bilateral diffuse pleural thickening

Asbestos bodies exposure – Light/moderate
Chest X-ray – Bilateral diffuse thickening (both parietal & visceral pleura), more than 5mm thick, extending over ¼ of chest wall
Lung Function – Restrictive ventilatory defect
Symptoms – Effort dyspnoea
Outcome – May progress in absence of further exposure


Asbestos bodies exposure – Light (interval of 20-40 years from exposure to disease)
Chest X-ray – Pleural effusion, usually unilateral
Lung Function – Restrictive ventilatory defect
Symptoms – Pleuritic pain, increasing dyspnoea
Outcome – Median survival 2 years


Asbestos bodies exposure – Heavy (interval of 5-10 years from exposure to disease)
Chest X-ray – Diffuse bilateral streaky shadows, honeycomb lung
Lung Function – Severe restrictive ventilatory defect & reduced gas transfer
Symptoms – Progressive dyspnoea
Outcome – Poor, progression in some cases after exposure ceases