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What does "biapical pleural thickening through the lung apices" in CT scan mean ?

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Posted on Fri, 13 Apr 2012
Question: A year ago I was sent to ER for my left side chest pain but after an irregular EKG they did tests on my heart only to find that my heart was in good shape. Just a week ago my doctor got back results of a CT scan that showed biapical pleural thickening through the lung apices.. is this cause for concern? Occasionally I do still feel slight pain in left side but its not long nor very common.
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga (2 hours later)
Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the query.

Pleura is the lining that covers your lungs. There are a few different things which could lead to thickening of the pleura. Among these is inflammation which could be caused by inhaling certain types of dust or asbestos.

Pleural thickening often occurs at the lung apices with increasing age, forming an apical cap. These represent a past infection more likely due to pulmonary TB, Fungal infections, asbestos. It rarely causes any symptoms and is generally assumed to be a benign and inactive process.

Since you had symptoms and these findings are on CT scan, I think you should discuss them with a lung specialist or pulmonologist who can give you better guidance on how to proceed. The doctor would initially be following up with serial Xrays. Rarely, a biopsy may be requested to assess the tissue of the pleural membrane and to rule out such things as cancer.

I hope I have answered your question in a satisfactory manner. I am available for your followups.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Robert Galamaga

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What does "biapical pleural thickening through the lung apices" in CT scan mean ?

Hi XXXXXXX

Thanks for the query.

Pleura is the lining that covers your lungs. There are a few different things which could lead to thickening of the pleura. Among these is inflammation which could be caused by inhaling certain types of dust or asbestos.

Pleural thickening often occurs at the lung apices with increasing age, forming an apical cap. These represent a past infection more likely due to pulmonary TB, Fungal infections, asbestos. It rarely causes any symptoms and is generally assumed to be a benign and inactive process.

Since you had symptoms and these findings are on CT scan, I think you should discuss them with a lung specialist or pulmonologist who can give you better guidance on how to proceed. The doctor would initially be following up with serial Xrays. Rarely, a biopsy may be requested to assess the tissue of the pleural membrane and to rule out such things as cancer.

I hope I have answered your question in a satisfactory manner. I am available for your followups.