- Clinical science
Pneumoconioses are a group of restrictive interstitial lung diseases caused by the inhalation of certain dusts, which are often associated with mining and agriculture. Inhalation of inorganic dust – especially chronic, occupational exposure – causes an inflammatory reaction in the lung parenchyma, which may lead to symptoms such as cough and breathlessness. Typically, disease manifestation occurs after many years of exposure. An occupational history of patients with findings indicative of interstitial disease suffice to diagnose the condition. Chest x-ray serves as an adjunct diagnostic tool and allows the scarring associated with the disease to be visualized. There is no effective targeted therapy for pneumoconioses; management involves avoidance of triggers, supplemental oxygen, and supportive therapy. Prevention through screening programs, use of masks and adequate ventilation, and/or change of jobs can help lower the impact of the condition.
This card only covers rare forms of pneumoconiosis. For and , see the respective cards.
- Etiology: : mostly occupational exposure
- Pathophysiology: Inhalation of dust particles →; phagocytosis by alveolar macrophages → destruction of alveolar macrophages, inflammatory reaction → scarring, granuloma formation
- Common clinical features
Types of rare pneumoconioses
|Type||Cause||Population at risk||Characteristic features||Chest x-ray|
|Aluminosis || || |
|Anthracosis || || || |
|Coal workers' pneumoconiosis || || |
|Pulmonary siderosis || || || |
Although coal is mined from under the earth, the upper lobes of the lungs are primarily affected.