Exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to different lung diseases, such as pleural thickening and effusion, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. These diseases are expected to peak in the next few years. The aim of the study was to validate ultrasonography (US) as a diagnostic tool in the management of lung diseases in subjects with a history of occupational exposure to asbestos….
With some patients falling into more than one category, on CT scan, pleural thickening was reported in 33 cases (56%, 26 with calcifications), focal interstitial peripheral alterations in 23 (39%), asbestosis in 6 (10%), and peripheral lung consolidation in 13 cases (22%). Comparing each pathological condition to CT scan reports, US findings had high levels of sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values. US did not prove effective for the detection of central lung nodules or diaphragmatic pleural thickenings. Chest US was considered to be the best technique to detect minimal pleural effusions (six subjects, 10%)
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