Caplans syndrome historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sharmi Biswas, M.B.B.S

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In 1953, the chest x ray findings of multiple pulmonary nodules, in the coal miners with Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) of Welsh, was described by Caplan. In 13 coal miners with RA, along with the small silicotic nodules, well-defined, larger lung nodules were found. Caplan identified that miners with pulmonary nodules on chest x-ray eventually developed arthritis though they have not diagnosed cases of RA. Though Caplan's initial idea was of infectious etiology, two years later several cases of ' rheumatoid pneumoconiosis' with tuberculosis were reported. But the theory of rheumatoid pneumoconiosis and tuberculous pneumoconiosis got rejected by time. Caplan's syndrome concept was expanded to cover the exposure to all inorganic dust from different sources. In 1940 and 1950, rheumatoid nodules were identified by several authors in autopsy studies of different organs as heart and lungs. But the relation to silica exposure was not discussed. Years later after Caplan's publication, multiple cases with pulmonary nodules in miners with RA were reported. But 20 cases with lung nodules were reported without any dust exposure.

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  1. Schreiber, J.; Koschel, D.; Kekow, J.; Waldburg, N.; Goette, A.; Merget, R. (2010). "Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis (Caplan's syndrome)". European Journal of Internal Medicine. 21 (3): 168–172. doi:10.1016/j.ejim.2010.02.004. ISSN 0953-6205.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gough, J.; Rivers, D.; Seal, R. M. E. (1955). "Pathological Studies of Modified Pneumoconiosis in Coal-miners with Rheumatoid Arthritis (Caplan's Syndrome)". Thorax. 10 (1): 9–18. doi:10.1136/thx.10.1.9. ISSN 0040-6376.
  3. . doi:10.1164/artpd.1958.78.2.274?journalCode=artpd. Missing or empty |title= (help)