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Lung diseases

Thick lung lining

02/22/2010

Question:

I HAVE BEEN TOLD I HAVE THICK LUNG LINING. I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT ON THE 1ST, WHAT CAN I EXPECT. I SOME MUCAS, USUALLY YELLOW BUT SHORTNEST OF BREATH AFTER RUNNING 100 YDS.

Answer:

"Thick lung lining" likely refers to a thickening of the layer of tissue (also known as the "pleura") that lines the chest wall and separates it from the lung tissue itself. Thickening of the pleural can be caused by many things including previous infection, damage from injury or trauma, exposure to irritating substances such as asbestos, inflammation such as that caused by lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, or in extremely rare cases, cancer. If you have not already had one, a CT scan of the chest is usually the first step in determining the significance of the thickening of the pleura. You should also expect a detailed history & physical exam to try to determine the underlying cause. Blood work and pulmonary function testing may also be helpful. In most cases, there is no need for invasive testing such as surgical biopsy, but the ultimate diagnosis and treatment plan will depend upon the most likely cause.

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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