The Scheuermann Mau disease is also called the German pleural plaques. This is a progressive, invasive and life-threatening disease that results from the excessive accumulation of the pleura above the lungs (pleura monocular) or the lining of the chest wall (pleura parvula) resulting in increased fluid secretion and thickening of the lining. The disease progresses gradually. Symptoms develop slowly over time. There is no specific laboratory test to diagnose the disease. The diagnosis is made by ruling out the presence of other diseases or conditions like infectious mononucleosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis B and shingles.
Symptoms usually occur in the first year of the disease. Some people may have difficulty walking due to the accumulation of pleura above the lungs or chest wall. The affected areas may also have an irritated cough. Weight loss and appetite decreases are common.
As the disease progresses, the lungs narrow and become less flexible. When air moves into the lungs, there is insufficient exchange of carbon dioxide for fluid intake. Chronic coughing and spasms are common. In severe cases, there may be decreased blood oxygenation and increased acidosis.
There are three types of pleural effusions. They are aponeurotomy, choroidal and mixed. Aponeurotomy is the removal of the aponeurosis, or fluid. Choroidal and mixed inflammatory serous effusions occur with both mixed and choroidal effusion respectively.
Since symptoms are often confused with those of various other illnesses, early detection is very important. Blood tests are the first step. Blood cultures may be performed if the blood sample shows increased VDRL. High pedestal FSH levels may be indicative of an ovarian tumor. These should be examined in pregnant women only.
Once the diagnosis has been made, treatment can be initiated. Surgery may be indicated for those with either mixed or simple pleural effusions. Medication may be given to reduce the fluid buildup in the lungs. Corticosteroids may be administered to relieve pain in the lungs and help prevent fluid retention.
Because of the fluid build up, fluid therapy may be indicated as a means of draining the accumulated fluids. Fluid infusion is often successful in reducing symptoms. Medications such as prednisone and hydrocortisone can be used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Acute symptoms such as shortness of breath and cough may require extra measures to bring down the disease.
The treatment for this condition will depend on its severity. The earlier it is detected, the better. Unfortunately, the symptoms can advance rapidly and progress. It may not be possible to completely reverse the disease, but the symptoms can be controlled and patients’ quality of life returned. For those who suffer from pleural effusions and the majority of symptoms, a course of treatment may include steroids, antibiotics, and surgery.
This condition is not contagious and can be controlled by taking medications. A few precautions are recommended to avoid complications. Patients should wash their hands regularly. They should not touch open wounds. They should keep any nasal discharge under control and avoid lying down immediately after coughing or laughing.
When you first start to experience symptoms of the disease, do not panic. Remember, this condition is relatively rare. In fact, the chances of you developing this one are slim to none. However, it is important to note that it can progress swiftly. Therefore, it is crucial that timely treatment is sought. Once you notice any of the symptoms listed below, you should see a doctor.
Symptoms to watch for include: shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, fever, and wheezing. Some people may also experience chest pains, especially when they exhale. If at all possible, seek medical attention right away as these symptoms could indicate an impending lung cancer.
Because this disease is still relatively unknown, there are not many doctors who are familiar with treating this kind of illness. Although it is not contagious, it does carry certain risks. Hence, proper care must be taken.