State of the Art: Imaging of Occupational Lung Disease

Radiology (Impact Factor: 6.21). 03/2014; 270(3):681-96. DOI: 10.1148/radiol.13121415
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Imaging of occupational lung disease, often perceived as a static discipline, continues to evolve with changes in industry and imaging technology. The challenge of accurately identifying an occupational exposure as the cause of lung disease demands a team approach, requiring integration of imaging features with exposure type, time course, and severity. Increasing use of computed tomography has demonstrated that specific occupational exposures can result in a variety of patterns of lung injury. The radiologist must understand the spectrum of expected imaging patterns related to known occupational exposures and must also recognize newly described occupational exposure risks, often related to recent changes in industrial practices. © RSNA, 2014.

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this review is to provide an up-to-date summary of developments in medical imaging in the diagnosis, surveillance, treatment, and screening of occupational and environmental lung diseases, focusing on articles published within the past 2 years. Many new exposures resulting in lung disease have been described worldwide; medical imaging, particularly computed tomography (CT), is often pivotal in recognition and characterization of these new patterns of lung injury. Chest radiography remains important to surveillance studies tracking the long-term evolution of disease and effectiveness of air quality regulation. Finally, studies are proving the utility of screening with low-dose CT, and technical advances offer the prospect of further CT dose reduction with ultra-low-dose CT. In understanding the best practices and new developments in medical imaging, the occupational and environmental medicine clinician can optimize diagnosis and management of related lung diseases.
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