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Asbestos induced pericardial effusion and constrictive pericarditis.
  1. D Davies,
  2. M I Andrews,
  3. J S Jones
  1. City Hospital, Nottingham.


    The number of disorders attributable to asbestos exposure has increased gradually over the years. The latest to be recorded is pericardial effusion and constrictive pericarditis, and three cases are reported here. A man with bilateral pleural thickening and plaques developed acute pericarditis and an effusion and was treated by pericardiectomy. Two men died from constrictive pericarditis associated with bilateral pleural effusions and diffusion pleural thickening. The pericardium showed nonspecific fibrous thickening. All had been occupationally exposed to asbestos. In the fatal cases the lungs contained amphibole fibres, in keeping with a modest degree of occupational exposure. Asbestos produces progressive fibrosis of the pericardium that is similar to diffuse pleural thickening and may be fatal. Both conditions may develop after relatively short or light exposure.

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