Asbestosis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Christopher D Jackson, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Determining the cause of asbestosis depends on the clinician's assessment of the levels and duration of exposure, and on knowledge of occupational epidemiologic studies. Assessment of impairment, which is a key ingredient in determining disability, is based mainly on pulmonary function studies. No evidence exists to confirm that small-airway disease, which is detected by flow volume curves, progresses to asbestosis.

Clinicians should be aware of the variety of diseases that may coexist with asbestosis. Additionally, clinicians should keep in mind that the risk for bronchogenic carcinoma is increased with asbestos exposure and load, even without asbestosis. [34]

Conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of asbestosis include collagen-vascular diseases and other interstitial pulmonary disorders.

Differential Diagnoses