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 immobilized. 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 pattern. The treatment for fibrothorax is decortication, the surgical removal of the fibrous layer of scar tissue. However, since many of the diseases and conditions resulting in fibrothorax are treatable, prevention remains the preferred method of managing fibrothorax.
Pleural fibrosis & calcification. Dense pleural fibrosis with focal calcification seen here is the end result of organization of intrapleural inflammatory exudate (empyema) most likely accompanying a remote episode of pneumonia.