Benign Asbestos Pleural Effusion (BAPE)


  • May occur within 10 years of exposure (this is the shortest latency period for any of the asbestos-related lung manifestations)
    • Asbestosis, pleural plaques, and asbestos-related lung cancer typically occur 20 years or more after exposure
    • Malignant mesothelioma usually occurs 30 years of more after exposure


  • Pleural Fluid
    • Appearance: often bloody
    • Cell Count: neutrophil or lymphocyte-predominant
      • Pleural eosinophilia is seen in 50% of cases
    • Cholesterol: elevated >55-60 mg/dL (seen in all exudates)
    • Pleural: serum cholesterol ratio: elevated (seen in all exudates)
    • Absence of asbestos bodies
    • EM: fiber assay is not diagnostic
  • CXR/Chest CT Pattern
    • Pleural Effusion


  • Pleural Effusion (see [[Pleural Effusion-Exudate]])
    • Represents a diagnosis of exclusion, after cancer, TB, thromboembolic disease, and trauma have been excluded


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