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Lung diseases

What is pleural parenchymal scarring?

09/26/2008

Question:

I had a CT Scan and the report read; Opacity at the left costophrenic angle most consistent with pleural parenchymal scarring. What does that translate to?

Answer:

"Pleural parenchymal scarring" refers to the presence of scar tissue in the pleura (the smooth, membrane surrounding the lung and lining the chest cavity), the pleural space (the small space between the borders of the lung and the chest wall), and in the pulmonary parenchyma (lung tissue itself). True pleural parenchymal scarring is benign in nature, and often results from healing from prior infection, inflammation, or surgery among other things. The radiologist can say that an abnormality (in this case, the opacity seen on the CT scan) is "most consistent" with a specific finding because the only way to know for certain what an abnormality represents is to biopsy it. It is up to the physician providing clinical care to decide if a biopsy is necessary. In most cases, pleural parenchymal scarring is easy to identify on CT scan, and biopsy is NOT necessary. Your physician, however, will decide if any further evaluation needs to be done based on your specific clinical situation.

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Response by:

Jennifer  McCallister, MD Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University