Occupational interstitial lung diseases

Link to article at PubMed

J Intern Med. 2023 Aug 3. doi: 10.1111/joim.13707. Online ahead of print.


Millions of workers are exposed to substances known to cause occupational interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), particularly in developing countries. However, the burden of the disease is likely to be underestimated due to under-recognition, under-reporting, or both. The diagnosis of occupational ILD requires a high level of suspicion and a thorough occupational history, as occupational and non-occupational ILDs may be clinically, functionally and radiologically indistinguishable, leading to delayed diagnosis and inappropriate management. A potential occupational etiology should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of ILD, as removal from the workplace exposure, with or without treatment, is a key therapeutic intervention and may lead to significant improvement. In this article, we provide an overview of the "traditional" inorganic dust-related ILDs, but also address idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and the immunologically mediated chronic beryllium disease, sarcoidosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, with emphasis on the importance of surveillance and prevention for reducing the burden of these conditions. To this end, health care professionals should be specifically trained about the importance of occupational exposures as a potential cause of ILD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:37535448 | DOI:10.1111/joim.13707

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