Occupational lung disease diagnostic study of choice

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Occupational lung disease Microchapters


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Differentiating Occupational lung disease from other Diseases

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Diagnostic Study of Choice

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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]


The initial study of choice for the diagnosis of occupational lung disease is a chest x-ray. The findings on x ray that are suggestive of occupational lung disease include, pleural thickening, plaques, calcifications, opacities, and atelectasis.

Diagnostic Study of Choice

Study of choice:

  • Chest x-ray is the gold standard test for the diagnosis of occupational lung disease.[1][2][3][4]
  • The following result of chest x-ray is confirmatory of occupational lung disease:

The comparison table for diagnostic studies of choice for occupational lung disease

Test Sensitivity Specificity
Chest x-ray 47% 82%
Sequence of Diagnostic Studies
  • The chest x - ray should be performed when:

Diagnostic criteria

  • Occupational lung disease may be diagnosed at any time if one or more of the following criteria are met:
    • Recorded exposure to an inhalant known to induce disease
    • A clearly established latency period between exposure to the noxious agent and the development of symptoms of disease
    • Clinical symptoms that are compatible with the clear features of the disease
    • Exclusion of other diseases that could possibly be responsible for the clinical picture


  1. Kim JS, Lynch DA (2002). "Imaging of nonmalignant occupational lung disease". J Thorac Imaging. 17 (4): 238–60. PMID 12362064.
  2. Chong S, Lee KS, Chung MJ, Han J, Kwon OJ, Kim TS (2006). "Pneumoconiosis: comparison of imaging and pathologic findings". Radiographics. 26 (1): 59–77. doi:10.1148/rg.261055070. PMID 16418244.
  3. Hering KG, Jacobsen M, Bosch-Galetke E, Elliehausen HJ, Hieckel HG, Hofmann-Preiss K, Jacques W, Jeremie U, Kotschy-Lang N, Kraus T, Menze B, Raab W, Raithel HJ, Schneider WD, Strassburger K, Tuengerthal S, Woitowitz HJ (2003). "[Further development of the International Pneumoconiosis Classification--from ILO 1980 to ILO 2000 and to ILO 2000/German Federal Republic version]". Pneumologie (in German). 57 (10): 576–84. doi:10.1055/s-2003-43020. PMID 14569528.
  4. Halldin CN, Blackley DJ, Petsonk EL, Laney AS (2017). "Pneumoconioses Radiographs in a Large Population of U.S. Coal Workers: Variability in A Reader and B Reader Classifications by Using the International Labour Office Classification". Radiology. 284 (3): 870–876. doi:10.1148/radiol.2017162437. PMID 28430556.