Article Text

Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury
Syndrome of pleural and retrosternal “bridging” fibrosis and retroperitoneal fibrosis in patients with asbestos exposure
  1. Vincent Cottin1,
  2. Pierre-Yves Brillet2,
  3. François Combarnous3,
  4. Florence Duperron2,
  5. Hilario Nunes2,
  6. Jean-François Cordier1
  1. 1
    Louis Pradel Hospital, Respiratory Medicine, 28 Avenue Doyen Lepine, Lyon, 69677, France
  2. 2
    Hopital Avicenne, 125 Avenue Stalingrad, Bobigny, 93009, France
  3. 3
    Clinique Du Tonkin, 26 Rue Du Tonkin, Villeurbanne, 69100, France
  1. vincent.cottin{at}


Two case histories are described of pleural and anterior mediastinal fibrosis presenting as a continuous fibrotic process with thick parietal pleural plaques extending from one pleura to the contralateral pleura through the retrosternal area, and with retroperitoneal fibrosis. Follow-up over 4 years in one case demonstrated rapid progression of disease, with pleural fibrosis preceding retrosternal and retroperitoneal fibrosis. Histopathological analysis in both cases showed non-tumoral fibrosis with broad fibrous bundles surrounding fibroblasts (and lymphocytes in one case). Possible causes such as infections and exposure to ergot derivatives were excluded. Both patients had been slightly or moderately exposed to asbestos.

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  • Competing interests: None.