Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis Follow-up

Updated: Dec 16, 2015
  • Author: Farhan J Khan, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Follow-up

Further Inpatient Care

Once a baseline radiograph has been established, patients should have follow-up radiographs every 5 years—more often if symptoms worsen.

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Deterrence/Prevention

Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis is a completely preventable disease. As such, the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 limited miner's exposure to respirable dust to less than 1 mg/m3. Miners are encouraged to have an initial chest radiograph on the date of hire and at 5-year intervals thereafter.

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Complications

Closely monitor patients who have developed diffuse interstitial fibrosis for progression to peripheral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) because diffuse interstitial fibrosis is a potent accelerator of this type of cancer. Katabami et al [32] determined that a "positive causal relationship between pneumoconiosis and peripheral-type SCCs of the lung" exists.

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Prognosis

Prognosis is poor once the patient has been determined to have progressive massive fibrosis. Treatment is palliative.

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