Occupational lung disease CT

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hadeel Maksoud M.D.[2]


Initially, the first investigation recommended to diagnose occupational lung disease is a chest x-ray. A high resolution chest CT scan or "thin-section" CT may be helpful in the further diagnosis of occupational lung disease. Findings on CT scan suggestive of occupational lung disease include nodules with sharp margination, opacities, lymph node hyperplasia and egg shell calcification, and interlobular septal thickening and intralobular lines.

CT scan

  • A high resolution chest CT scan or "thin-section" CT may be helpful in the diagnosis of occupational lung disease.
  • Findings on CT scan suggestive of occupational lung disease include:[1][2][3][4]
    • Nodules with sharp margination
    • Opacities
    • Lymph node hyperplasia and egg shell calcification
    • Interlobular septal thickening and intralobular lines
    • Ground glass opacities
    • Consolidations
    • Reticular opacities
    • Traction bronchiectasis
    • Pleural plaques
      • Described as "table-mountain plaques" in asbestosis
    • Pleural thickening
    • Thick interlobular fissures
    • Tumor spread
    • Parenchymal bands
    • Atelectasis


  1. Webb WR (2006). "Thin-section CT of the secondary pulmonary lobule: anatomy and the image--the 2004 Fleischner lecture". Radiology. 239 (2): 322–38. doi:10.1148/radiol.2392041968. PMID 16543587.
  2. Cormier Y, Brown M, Worthy S, Racine G, Müller NL (2000). "High-resolution computed tomographic characteristics in acute farmer's lung and in its follow-up". Eur. Respir. J. 16 (1): 56–60. PMID 10933085.
  3. Cox CW, Rose CS, Lynch DA (2014). "State of the art: Imaging of occupational lung disease". Radiology. 270 (3): 681–96. doi:10.1148/radiol.13121415. PMID 24568704.
  4. Paris C, Martin A, Letourneux M, Wild P (2008). "Modelling prevalence and incidence of fibrosis and pleural plaques in asbestos-exposed populations for screening and follow-up: a cross-sectional study". Environ Health. 7: 30. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-7-30. PMC 2441611. PMID 18570653.