0
Original Research: Pulmonary Physiology |

Pleural Plaques and Their Effect on Lung Function in Libby Vermiculite MinersPleural Plaques and Their Effect on Lung Function Pleural Plaques and their Effect on Lung Function

Kathleen A. Clark, MS; J. Jay Flynn, III, MD; Julie E. Goodman, PhD; Ke Zu, PhD, ScD; Wilfried J. J. Karmaus, MD, MPH; Lawrence C. Mohr, MD, ScD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Ms Clark), Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; Health Network America (Dr Flynn), Tinton Falls, NJ; Gradient Corporation (Drs Goodman and Zu), Cambridge, MA; the Department of Epidemiology (Dr Goodman), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; the Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Environmental Health (Dr Karmaus), School of Public Health, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN; and the Department of Medicine (Dr Mohr), the Department of Public Health Sciences (Dr Mohr), and the Environmental Biosciences Program (Dr Mohr), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Lawrence C. Mohr, MD, ScD, FCCP, Environmental Biosciences Program, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Cannon St, Ste 405, PO Box 250838, Charleston, SC 29425; e-mail: mohrlc@musc.edu


FUNDING/SUPPORT: This work was supported by Health Network America and Gradient Corp.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;146(3):786-794. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0043
Text Size: A A A
Published online

BACKGROUND:  Multiple studies have investigated the relationship between asbestos-related pleural plaques (PPs) and lung function, with disparate and inconsistent results. Most use chest radiographs to identify PPs and simple spirometry to measure lung function. High-resolution CT (HRCT) scanning improves the accuracy of PP identification. Complete pulmonary function tests (PFTs), including spirometry, lung volumes, and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide, provide a more definitive assessment of lung function. The goal of this study was to determine, using HRCT scanning and complete PFTs, the effect of PPs on lung function in Libby vermiculite miners.

METHODS:  The results of HRCT scanning and complete PFTs performed between January 2000 and August 2012 were obtained from the medical records of 166 Libby vermiculite miners. Multivariate regression analyses with Tukey multivariate adjustment were used to assess statistical associations between the presence of PPs and lung function. Adjustments were made for age, BMI, smoking history, duration of employment, and years since last occupational asbestos exposure.

RESULTS:  Nearly 90% of miners (n = 149) had evidence of PPs on HRCT scan. No significant differences in spirometry results, lung volumes, or diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide were found between miners with PPs alone and miners with normal HRCT scans. Miners with both interstitial fibrosis and the presence of PPs had a significantly decreased total lung capacity in comparison with miners with normal HRCT scans (P = .02). Age, cumulative smoking history, and BMI were significant covariates that contributed to abnormal lung function.

CONCLUSIONS:  Asbestos-related PPs alone have no significant effect on lung function in Libby vermiculite miners.

Figures in this Article

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543