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Conn's current therapy 1989, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1989:163-165
Silicosis was discussed. The features of silicosis were described. Silicosis can be defined as a fibrotic disease resulting from the pulmonary reaction to accumulations of inhaled crystalline silica (14808607). Although the true prevalence of the disease is not known, it is estimated that at least 1 million American workers are employed in jobs at risk for silicosis. The pathogenesis of silicosis was summarized. The forms of silicosis, simple, complicated, accelerated, and acute silicosis, were reviewed. Simple silicosis is frequently asymptomatic and is usually detected as a radiographic abnormality consisting of small rounded opacities, less than 10 millimeters in diameter, occurring primarily in the upper lobes. Approximately 20 to 30 percent of the simple silicosis cases progress to complicated silicosis. Complicated silicosis, also known as progressive massive fibrosis, is characterized by exertional dyspnea and nodular opacities at least 1 centimeter in diameter on chest x-rays. Complicated, accelerated, and acute silicosis are frequently accompanied by mycobacterial infections and autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis. Preventing silicosis was discussed. Since no specific treatment for silicosis exists, preventive measures such as educating workers and employers about the hazards of silica dust exposure and using engineering controls to reduce exposures in the workplace are considered the basic methods for eliminating silicosis. It is recommended that all workers with detected silicosis be removed from further exposure. Treating silicosis was discussed. Therapeutic measures are directed primarily toward treating the complications of silicosis and are similar to those used in managing airway obstruction, infection, pneumothorax, hypoxemia, and respiratory failure. It was noted that although polyvinyl-pyridine-N-oxide has been successful in protecting experimental animals against silicosis, it is not available for use in humans.
Lung-disorders; Dust-exposure; Silica-dusts; Occupational-health; Clinical-pathology; Lung-fibrosis; Chest-X-rays; Medical-treatment; Infectious-diseases;
Publication Date
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury;
Source Name
Conn's current therapy 1989, W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division