Asbestosis

Last reviewed: 21 Apr 2022
Last updated: 12 Nov 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • occupational exposure
  • longer duration of exposure
  • smoking history
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • dyspnea on exertion
  • cough
  • crackles
  • indirect exposure
  • chest pain
  • clubbing
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • cumulative dose of inhaled asbestos
  • cigarette smoking
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • CXR: posterior-anterior (PA) and lateral
  • pulmonary function tests
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • high-resolution CT chest
  • lung biopsy
  • bronchial lavage
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ONGOING

all patients

Contributors

Authors

Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD

Professor of Medicine

Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Michigan State University

East Lansing

MI

Disclosures

KDR has been an expert witness for both defendants and plaintiffs in work-related lawsuits concerning asbestos exposure. KDR is also the author of several papers referenced in this topic.

Peer reviewers

Henry A. Anderson, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Wisconsin Division of Public Health

Madison

WI

Disclosures

HAA declares that he has no competing interests.

Keir Lewis, MD

Senior Clinical Lecturer

Institute of Life Sciences

Swansea University

Swansea

UK

Disclosures

KL declares that he has no competing interests.

Thomasz J. Kuzniar, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

Evanston

IL

Disclosures

TJK declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Asbestosis images
  • Differentials

    • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
    • Connective tissue disease
    • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP)
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • Consensus report: asbestos, asbestosis and cancer: the Helsinki criteria for diagnosis and attribution 2014
    • Diagnosis and initial management of nonmalignant diseases related to asbestos
    More Guidelines
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