Topic Completed: 1 September 2011

Minor changes: 20 August 2020

Copyright: 2003-2020,, Inc.

PubMed search: pulmonary berylliosis

Elliot Weisenberg, M.D.
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Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Weisenberg E. Berylliosis. website. Accessed December 5th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Due to heavy exposure to dusts or fumes of beryllium, more common in nuclear and aerospace industries
  • Acute disease has disappeared due to exposure standards
  • Low dose exposure may cause granulomatous lesions that mimic sarcoidosis
  • Chronic berylliosis due to cell mediated immunity
  • 2% of those exposed develop disease; delayed hypersensitivity leads to noncaseating granulomas in lungs and hilar nodes, which become progressively fibrotic; no symptoms until late
  • Heavy beryllium exposure is linked to lung cancer
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