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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 6797826, 8 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/6797826
Research Article

Incidental and Underreported Pleural Plaques at Chest CT: Do Not Miss Them—Asbestos Exposure Still Exists

1Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, Unit of Diagnostic Imaging, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
2Italian College of Ethics and Forensic Radiology, Italian Society of Medical Radiology (SIRM), Milan, Italy
3University of Siena, Siena, Italy
4Unit of Diagnostic Imaging, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
5Department of Radiology, Cardarelli Hospital, Naples, Italy
6Unit of Occupational Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
7Department of Medical Biotechnology, Unit of Occupational Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, University of Siena, Siena, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Maria Antonietta Mazzei; ti.isinu@iezzam.atteinotnaairam

Received 3 February 2017; Accepted 10 April 2017; Published 5 June 2017

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Angelelli

Copyright © 2017 Maria Antonietta Mazzei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Pleural plaques (PPs) may be a risk factor for mortality from lung cancer in asbestos-exposed workers and are considered to be a marker of exposure. Diagnosing PPs is also important because asbestos-exposed patients should be offered a health surveillance that is mandatory in many countries. On the other hand PPs are useful for compensation purposes. In this study we aimed to evaluate the prevalence, as incidental findings, and the underreporting rate of PPs in chest CT scans (CTs) performed in a cohort of patients (1512) who underwent chest CT with a slice thickness no more than 1.25 mm. PPs were found in 76 out of 1482 patients (5.1%); in 13 out of 76 (17,1%) CTs were performed because of clinical suspicion of asbestos exposure and 5 of them (38%) were underreported by radiologist. In the remaining 63 cases (82.9%) there was no clinical suspicion of asbestos exposure at the time of CTs (incidental findings) and in 38 of these 63 patients (60.3%) PPs were underreported. Reaching a correct diagnosis of PPs requires a good knowledge of normal locoregional anatomy and rigorous technical approach in chest CT execution. However the job history of the patient should always be kept in mind.