Fibrothorax is diffuse fibrosis of the pleural space surrounding the lungs It can have several causes including hemothorax, pleural effusion and tuberculosis It may also be induced by exposure to certain substances, as with asbestos-induced diffuse pleural fibrosis1 Idiopathic fibrothorax may also occur

In fibrothorax, scar tissue is formed around the visceral pleura following inflammation due to pleural effusion or other pathology The scar tissue lies in a sheet between the pleura, then fuses with the parietal pleura and the chest wall Over time, generally the course of years, the fibrotic scar tissue slowly tightens, which results in the contraction of the entire hemithorax, and leaves the ribs immobilized2 Within the chest, the lung is compressed and unable to expand, making it vulnerable to collapse At the microscopic level, the scar tissue is composed of collagen fibers deposited in a basket weave pattern1 The treatment for fibrothorax is decortication, the surgical removal of the fibrous layer of scar tissue1 However, since many of the diseases and conditions resulting in fibrothorax are treatable, prevention remains the preferred method of managing fibrothorax1


  1. ^ a b c d Donath, Joseph; Miller, Albert 2009 "Restrictive Chest Wall Disorders" Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 30 03: 275–292 ISSN 1069-3424 doi:101055/s-0029-1222441 
  2. ^ Huggins JT, Sahn SA 2004 "Causes and management of pleural fibrosis" Respirology 9 4: 441–7 PMID 15612954 doi:101111/j1440-1843200400630x 

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