Reviewers: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 26 September 2011, last major update September 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
● Non-neoplastic disease due to inhalation of mineral dust, other particulates, toxic fumes and vapors, exclusive of asthma, bronchitis and emphysema
● Some individuals are more prone to development of lung disease with exposure to pneumoconiosis inducing agents
● Incidence decreasing in industrialized world due to dust reduction measures
● Amount of dust retained in lungs depends on particulate size (dangerous: 1-5 mm, particles reach and impact in terminal small airways and alveoli)
● Particles are phagocytosed by macrophages, but they may be overwhelmed
● Large particles resist dissolution, may evoke fibrosing collagenous pneumoconiosis (silicosis); quartz directly injures membranes by interacting with free radicals
● Silica causes macrophages to release mediators which stimulate fibroblasts
● Particles may also cause immune response (immune complex formation)
● Inflammatory response from particles reaches lymphatics, capable of causing local damage and systemic response
● Exacerbating factors (tobacco smoke, air pollution) may worsen damage
End of Lung-nontumor > Pneumoconiosis > General
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