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Shortness of breath, blood work normal, chest x-ray showed pleural thickening. Worried about tuberculosis or asbestos?

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Practicing since : 2003
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I went to the doctor recently because I thought a short of breath. It lasted about 24 hours and then it disappeared. My doctor's suspected it was more related to anxiety than any organic issues, because I've had recent blood work and other exams and all came normal. Nevertheless, he asked for a chest x XXXXXXX and a ECG. When the x XXXXXXX results came back it point out a minimal minimal biapical pleural thickning. My doctor asked if I had been exposed to asbestos (negative) or if any history of tuberculosis in the family (negative). He said not to worry and if necessary he would let me know of any further investigation. I'm really worried about all that I read online of this condition can be caused by and would appreciate your opinion.
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 15 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

After going through your query, I would like o comment the following:

1. You recently had an apparent episode of shortness of breath which lasted for 24 hours.

2. Your investigations revealed a bi apical pleural thickening.

3. Currently you seem to be asymptomatic.

4. Bilateral pleural capping on chest xray in an asymptomatic patient need not be worried about. Sometimes it is a sign of old healed lesions (hence your doctor asked you history of tuberculosis).

5. To rule out some rare possible diagnoses , ct thorax would be a good option. Also do get you thoracic ultrasound done to rule out any minimal pleural effusion. If no major abnormality is detected on these investigations just relax as there is no need for you to worry.

6. Do get your neck lymph nodes examined by your physician.

7. Since you have history of childhood asthma, do get yourself examined by a pulmonologist & get your pulmonary function tests done.

8. You should also take the annual flu shots.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer any follow up queries.

Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
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