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Asbestosis is a form of interstitial fibrosis of the lung. It is asbestos exposure related disease. Asbestosis is a type of pneumoconiosis.

Pathology[✎ edit | edit source]

After asbestos fibers are breath into alveols, the fibers provoke immune cells in lungs and cause inflammatory reaction. A part of this reaction is fibrogenesis in interstitial space.

Lung biopsy, H&E stain, ferruginous bodies and interstitial fibrosis.

It seems to be histologicaly similar like the other interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, but it contains ferruginous bodies too.

Clinical notes[✎ edit | edit source]

Patient history[✎ edit | edit source]

Asbestosis depends on exposure time. This disease is progressive and long involved. Can be found 20 years after exposure, when the symptoms became clear. It is very important to find out patient's exposure possibilities:

Occupational exposure[✎ edit | edit source]

  • workers in the manufacture of asbestos products;
  • asbestos miners and millers;
  • construction traders;
  • power plant workers;
  • boilermakers;
  • shipyard workers;
  • firefighters.[1]

Non-occupational exposure[✎ edit | edit source]

Asbestos was used in building walls, for example in schools. Teachers who work in these buildings their entire professional lives could be in danger as well.[2]

Symptoms[✎ edit | edit source]

  • shortness of breath[2] – first when walking, climbing stairs, than at rest (asbestosis is progressive disease);
  • cough[2];
  • low blood oxygen level[3].

The most often complication is COPD[2], respiratory insufficiency, pulmonary hypertension, cor pulmonale.

Diagnostic[✎ edit | edit source]

  • physical examination, lung function tests;
  • X–ray;
  • CT or MRI;
  • lung biopsy;
  • definitive diagnosis is based on microscopical examination of the biopsy by pathologist!

Therapy[✎ edit | edit source]

There is only supportive therapy of progressive respiratory failure:

Notes[✎ edit | edit source]

Other asbestos exposure related diseases are:

Links[✎ edit | edit source]

Related articles[✎ edit | edit source]

References[✎ edit | edit source]

  1. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). What are High Risk Occupations? [online]. The last revision 2010, [cit. 2011-07-30]. <>.
  2. a b c d e KASPER, Dennis L – FAUCI, Anthony S – LONGO, Dan L, et al. Harrison's principles of Internal Medicine. 16th edition. New York : McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 2005. 2607 pp. pp. 1522. ISBN 0-07-139140-1.
  3. American Lung Association. Asbestosis [online]. ©2011. The last revision 2011, [cit. 2011-08-06]. <>.
4. What is Asbestosis and how to claim for it?