Gallium lung scanning is widely used to evaluate pulmonary inflammation in patients with interstitial lung disease but has not previously been reported in crocidolite-exposed workers. In order to characterize the pulmonary inflammation caused by crocidolite inhalation, GLS and BAL findings were related to chest x-ray film changes graded according to the ILO classification of roentgenograms of pneumoconioses. In individuals with roentgenographic evidence of asbestosis (CXR ≥ 1/0, n = 15), 13 had a positive GLS and 13 had an abnormal BAL. In asbestos-exposed individuals with equivocal chest x-ray film changes (CXR 0/1, n = 12), six had a positive GLS and six had BAL changes (both GLS and BAL abnormal in three). In individuals with a normal chest x-ray film (CXR 0/0 n = 8), two had a positive GLS and two BAL changes (both abnormal in 1). These data demonstrate that most subjects with crocidolite-induced asbestosis have an abnormal GLS and BAL. In addition, many individuals with asbestos exposure and equivocal or no chest x-ray film changes have an abnormal GLS and/or BAL, suggesting the presence of active subclinical pulmonary inflammation in these individuals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine