Low grade coal worker's pneumoconiosis. Comparison of CT and chest radiography

Acta Radiol. 1994 Jul;35(4):351-6.


We compared CT with chest radiography (CR) in the assessment of low grade coal worker's pneumoconiosis (CWP) in a population of 83 subjects. All subjects had a high-voltage p.a. CR, graded according to the ILO classification between 0/0 and 1/1, a conventional CT (CCT) using contiguous 1-cm-thick sections on the entire thorax and a set of 10 high-resolution CT (HRCT) images. CR and CT were separately read by consensus by 2 teams of 2 trained readers. CR was coded 0/0 in 9 subjects; 0/1 in 31; 1/0 in 28; 1/1 in 15. Among these groups of patients, micronodules were detected by CT in respectively 2 (22%), 14 (45%), 17 (61%) and 10 (67%) patients. In all groups, micronodules were more often detected by CT when the opacities detected on CR were scored as rounded (p, q) than irregular (s, t). Among the patients graded 0/0 or 0/1, CT showed micronodules in 40%. By contrast, among the patients graded 1/0 or 1/1, CT did not show micronodules in 37%, but revealed in numerous patients that opacities detected on CR were related to bronchiectasis and/or emphysema only. Comparative analysis of HRCT and CCT showed that both techniques are complementary and proved the usefulness of CCT in the detection or confirmation of low profusion of micronodules.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Coal Mining*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumoconiosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography, Thoracic* / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed* / methods