Ray Ballinger, MD, PhD

Straub Clinic and Hospital

rballinger at


87 y/o man with cough


plain chest

Publication Date: 31 October 2003

History and Images

87 y/o man with cough.

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Extensive pleural calcifications are seen in this patient who is a smoker and worked as an electrician in a ship yard.

Below is a PA chest from another patient with the same disease.




The presence of bilateral calcified pleural plaques is fairly specific for the diagnosis of asbestosis. Patients with asbestosis are at a 5-fold greater risk of developing lung cancer. There is a synergistic effect between asbestosis and smoking with a 55-fold increase in risk for lung cancer. Mesotheliomas are malignancies of the pleura that are associated with asbestosis and are rarely found in people without asbestos exposure. Historically, occupations with high risk of exposure to asbestos include shipyard workers, auto mechanics, construction workers and other construction trades.