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Pleural Plaque H013
In this section
Current RMA Instruments
|Reasonable Hypothesis SOP||45 of 2014|
|Balance of Probabilities SOP||46 of 2014|
Changes from previous Instruments
- ICD-9-CM Codes: 511.0
- ICD-10-AM Codes: J92.0
This is a condition affecting the pleura (the membrane covering the lung and lining the thoracic cavity), manifesting as a flat fibrous thickening which has a border which is sharply circumscribed. ‘Pleural plaques’ are a different clinical entity and diagnosis to ‘diffuse pleural thickening’.
Confirming the diagnosis
This diagnosis is based on radiologist reporting of plain chest Xrays or CT [Computerised tomography] scans or MRI [Magnetic resonance imaging] scan of the chest. In someone with a high body mass index extrapleural fat may mimic pleural plaque on chest Xray and a CT scan may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
The relevant medical specialist is a respiratory physician.
Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
Asbestos related pleural plaque
Conditions excluded from SOP
- Diffuse pleural thickening (ICD-9 511.8; ICD-10 J92.9) – This indicates inflammation from conditions such as: lung infection; trauma with pleural haemorrhage; radiation; pulmonary infarction; lung neoplasia, intentional chemical or surgical pleurodesis and also can occur with asbestos exposure.
- Fibrosing interstitial lung disease*
* another SOP applies
Pleural plaques are nearly always asymptomatic and are usually found incidentally on chest Xray or other chest imaging. Clinical onset will be at the time of diagnosis.
The only SOP worsening factor is for inability to obtain appropriate clinical management. Pleural plaques do not require treatment. Management that might alter the course of the condition would be advice to avoid further asbestos exposure.