Academic Journals Database
Disseminating quality controlled scientific knowledge

Antemortem diagnosis of asbestosis by screening chest radiograph correlated with postmortem histologic features of asbestosis: a study of 273 cases

Author(s): Mizell Kelly | Morris Christopher | Carter J Elliot

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 14;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Accuracy in the clinical diagnosis of asbestosis has significant implications for the future health of affected patients as well as serious medicolegal implications for both patients and asbestos-associated industries. The radiographic gold-standard for diagnosis of asbestosis has been the plain chest radiograph, and in many asbestosis-screening clinics, chest radiograph abnormalities in conjunction with a history of asbestos exposure have been the mainstay of diagnosis. No studies have yet compared the antemortem chest radiographic diagnosis of asbestosis with the subsequent presence of pulmonary fibrosis and lung tissue ferruginous bodies at autopsy. Methods Records were reviewed from 273 autopsies performed to investigate asbestosis over an 11-year period. Accrued data included age and gender as well as the presence or absence of the following: occupational exposure to asbestos, antemortem clinical diagnosis of asbestosis by chest radiograph, fibrous pleural plaques, peribronchiolar or interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, ferruginous bodies in histologic sections of lung tissue, and ferruginous bodies in digested lung tissue. Results 242 cases with the antemortem radiographic diagnosis of asbestosis (study group) were identified. 31 additional autopsies had been requested based on history of asbestos exposure without radiographic documentation of asbestosis (control group). Comparison of the two groups showed a statistically significant increase in the association of chest radiograph-diagnosed asbestosis and the presence at autopsy of pleural plaques (p = 0.0109), peribronchiolar or interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (p = 0.0472), and histologically-diagnostic asbestosis (p = 0.0021). At autopsy, histologically-diagnostic asbestosis was confirmed in only 90 of the 243 study group cases. Comparison of individual parameters within the 242 study group cases showed a statistically significant correlation between the presence of fibrous pleural plaques and histologically-proven pulmonary fibrosis (p = 0.0025) as well as the subsequent histologic diagnosis of asbestosis (p < 0.0001). Conclusion Clinical diagnosis of asbestosis by screening chest radiograph is more predictive of the postmortem presence of fibrous pleural plaques, pulmonary fibrosis, and histologically-proven asbestosis than is occupational exposure history alone. However, chest radiograph-based diagnosis of asbestosis significantly overpredicts the subsequent histologic diagnosis of asbestosis.
Save time & money - Smart Internet Solutions     

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona