High-resolution CT in Silicosis: Correlation With Radiographic Findings and Functional Impairment

J Comput Assist Tomogr. May-Jun 2005;29(3):350-6. doi: 10.1097/01.rct.0000160424.56261.bc.


Objective: To assess high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings in silicosis and to better define the role of HRCT in early detection of parenchymal abnormalities in silica-exposed workers.

Methods: Forty-one stone carvers were evaluated with chest radiographs (CR), HRCT, and pulmonary function tests (PFT). Inter-reader agreement was calculated using the kappa statistic (k). Correlation between radiographic and HRCT profusion scores and PFT was assessed using the Spearman correlation coefficient.

Results: The most common HRCT findings were branching centrilobular structures, seen in 28/41 workers (68.3%). Nodules consistent with silicosis were detected in 53.7% workers on CR and in 56.1% workers on HRCT. Inter-reader agreement for diagnosis of silicosis was better on HRCT (k = 0.84) than on CR (k = 0.54). Small opacity profusion on HRCT correlated inversely with total lung capacity and FVC%.

Conclusion: Profusion of opacities on HRCT correlates with functional impairment. The presence of branching centrilobular structures may be helpful in early recognition of silicosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Silicosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Silicosis / physiopathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*