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For further information, see CMDT Part 9-32: Occupational Pulmonary Diseases

Key Features

  • A nodular interstitial fibrosis occurring in workers who are exposed to asbestos fibers long-term

  • Cigarette smoking increases the prevalence of pleural and parenchymal changes and markedly increases the incidence of lung carcinoma

Clinical Findings

  • Inexorably progressive dyspnea, inspiratory crackles

  • Clubbing and cyanosis present in some patients

  • Lower lung zones involved more than upper lung zones

  • Pulmonary function tests typically show a restrictive defect and reduced diffusing capacity


  • Radiographic features

    • Linear streaking at the lung bases

    • Opacities of various shapes and sizes

    • Honeycomb changes in advanced cases

    • Presence of pleural calcifications

  • High-resolution CT scanning is the best imaging method for asbestosis because of its ability to detect parenchymal fibrosis and define the presence of coexisting pleural plaques


  • No specific treatment

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