Note the thickening of the pleura at the right apex. The thickened pleura can be seen extending down the right lateral chest wall.
Pleural thickening is the term used to describe the appearance of "diffuse" (widespread) scarring along the lining (pleura) of the lungs. When this pleural scarring (pleural fibrosis) is limited to one location (focal scarring) it is called pleural plaque. While pleural thickening is relatively harmless in some cases, it is also common among workers who were exposed to and inhaled a significant amount of dangerous asbestos particles.
Pleural thickening can cause shortness of breath and adversely affect the lungs' ability to function properly. It is not malignant and is not necessarily a sign of asbestos lung disease.
Causes of Pleural ThickeningPleural thickening can occur as a result of any inflammation occurring in the lungs. In addition to asbestos exposure, this may stem from any of the following:
•Pleural effusion (excessive fluid in the pleural space)
•Tumors (both benign and malignant)
•Rheumatoid lung disease
•Pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in an artery of the lung)
Adapted from http://www.allaboutmalignantmesothelioma.com/