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Berylliosis Follow-up

  • Author: Raed A Dweik, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FCCP, FCCM, FAHA; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
Updated: Dec 31, 2015

Further Outpatient Care

Chronic beryllium disease (CBD, berylliosis) patients should be monitored by a pulmonologist. The frequency of follow-up depends on the extent of the disease and the need for therapy.



Prevention is a key component in the management of CBD.

The current OSHA standards for workplace air require an 8-hour, time-weighted average maximum permissible level of 2 mcg/m3, along with a peak level of 25 mcg/m3. The beryllium concentration in the air around factories is not to exceed 0.01 mcg/m3. Some recent studies suggest that the current standard of 2 mcg/m3 is not protective.

Although no proof exists that cessation of exposure to beryllium improves the disease course or slows the progression, advising all patients with CBD to avoid any further exposure to beryllium is prudent.



Monitor for complications of corticosteroid therapy in patients receiving such therapy.



The natural history of CBD remains unclear. While many patients are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis and may remain so, some patients experience progressive decline in their lung function that may progress to respiratory failure requiring oxygen supplementation and, in certain advanced cases, lung transplantation.


Patient Education

Certain individuals with beryllium sensitization or chronic beryllium disease may be eligible for government benefits and compensation under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program. More information is available on the US Department of Labor Web site, Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation.

For excellent patient education resources, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Bronchoscopy.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Raed A Dweik, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FCCP, FCCM, FAHA Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Director, Pulmonary Vascular Program, Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic

Raed A Dweik, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FCCP, FCCM, FAHA is a member of the following medical societies: American Heart Association, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Medical Association, American Thoracic Society, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Society of Critical Care Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP Geri and Richard Brawerman Chair in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Professor and Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine, Medical Director, Women's Guild Lung Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Federation for Medical Research, American Thoracic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Gregg T Anders, DO Medical Director, Great Plains Regional Medical Command , Brooke Army Medical Center; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Disease, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Oleh Wasyl Hnatiuk, MD Program Director, National Capital Consortium, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Oleh Wasyl Hnatiuk, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, and American Thoracic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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A high-resolution CT scan of the chest showing the typical ground glass appearance in a patient with chronic beryllium disease, or berylliosis.
A histopathology slide (hematosin and eosin stain) showing the typical well-formed granuloma of chronic beryllium disease, or berylliosis.
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