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Free Content Chest radiography in the diagnosis of pneumoconiosis [Workshop Report]

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SETTING: Report of a workshop on Occupational Lung Diseases, IUATLD Respiratory Disease Section, Bangkok 1998.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the role of chest radiography in the diagnosis of pneumoconiosis in clinical practice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pneumoconiosis, defined as the accumulation of dust in the lung and tissue reaction to its presence, is diagnosed and monitored by X-ray techniques. The International Labour Organization (ILO) developed a descriptive system of the radiographic appearances of pneumoconiosis using standard chest radiographs to classify the type and category of profusion of small opacities seen in the lung fields, as well as the width and extent of pleural changes and other abnormalities of a more general nature.

RESULTS: The pertinence of the ILO classification has been demonstrated by studying the correlation between anatomic lesions and chest X-ray features. Other imaging techniques have been proposed over the past few years, including computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. However, until now they have remained essentially complementary to verify an unclear aspect of particular features of a given radiograph, rather than as the standard method of diagnosis.

CONCLUSION: Chest radiography remains the principal tool in the diagnosis of pneumoconiosis, and has the advantages of the large number of units in service throughout the world, their relatively low cost, and the widely-accepted ILO classification.

Keywords: ILO classification; clinical practice; pneumoconiosis; radiography

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Unité 420 INSERM, Faculté de Médecine, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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