Spectrum of high-resolution computed tomography imaging in occupational lung disease

Authors: Bhawna Satija1, Sanyal Kumar1, Umesh Chandra Ojha2, Dipti Gothi3

Damage to the lungs caused by dusts or fumes or noxious substances inhaled by workers in certain specific occupation is known as occupational lung disease. Recognition of occupational lung disease is especially important not only for the primary worker, but also because of the implications with regard to primary and secondary disease prevention in the exposed co-workers. Although many of the disorders can be detected on chest radiography, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is superior in delineating the lung architecture and depicting pathology. The characteristic radiological features suggest the correct diagnosis in some, whereas a combination of clinical features, occupational history, and radiological findings is essential in establishing the diagnosis in others. In the presence of a history of exposure and consistent clinical features, the diagnosis of even an uncommon occupational lung disease can be suggested by the characteristic described HRCT findings. In this article, we briefly review the HRCT appearance of a wide spectrum of occupational lung diseases.