Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Coal worker's pneumoconiosis

Black lung disease; Pneumoconiosis; Anthrosilicosis

 

Coal worker's pneumoconiosis is a lung disease that results from breathing in dust from coal, graphite, or man-made carbon over a long time.

Causes

 

Coal worker's pneumoconiosis occurs in two forms: simple and complicated (also called progressive massive fibrosis, or PMF).

Your risk of developing coal worker's pneumoconiosis depends on how long you have been around coal dust. Most people with this disease are older than 50. Smoking does not increase your risk of developing this disease, but it may have an added harmful effect on the lungs.

If coal worker's pneumoconiosis occurs with rheumatoid arthritis, it is called Caplan syndrome.

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up of black sputum

 

Exams and Tests

 

The doctor will do a physical exam and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. A chest x-ray or chest CT scan will be performed. You will also likely need lung function tests.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment may include any of the following, depending on how severe your symptoms are:

  • Medicines to keep the airways open and reduce mucus
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation to help you learn ways to breathe better
  • Oxygen therapy
You should also avoid further exposure to coal dust.

 

Support Groups

 

Ask your health care provider about Black Lung Clinics in your area. Information can be found at the National Coalition of Black Lung and Respiratory Disease Clinics website: blacklungcoalition.org/clinics.

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

Outcome for the simple form is usually good. It rarely causes disability or death. The complicated form may cause shortness of breath that worsens over time.

 

Possible Complications

 

Complications may include:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cor pulmonale (failure of the right side of the heart)
  • Respiratory failure

 

Prevention

 

Wear a protective mask when working around coal, graphite, or man-made carbon. Companies should enforce the maximum permitted dust levels. Avoid smoking.

 

 

References

Cowie RL, Becklake MR. Pneumoconioses. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 73.

Tarlo SM. Occupational lung disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 93.

 
  • Lungs

    Lungs - illustration

    The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

    Lungs

    illustration

  • Coal worker's lungs - chest X-ray

    Coal worker's lungs - chest X-ray - illustration

    This chest x-ray shows coal worker's lungs. There are diffuse, small, light areas on both sides (1 to 3 mm) in all parts of the lungs. Diseases that may result in an x-ray like this include: simple coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) - stage I, simple silicosis, miliary tuberculosis, histiocytosis X (eosinophilic granuloma), and other diffuse infiltrate pulmonary diseases.

    Coal worker's lungs - chest X-ray

    illustration

  • Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II - illustration

    This chest x-ray shows stage II coal worker's pneumoconiosis (CWP). There are diffuse, small light areas on both sides of the lungs. Other diseases that may explain these x-ray findings include simple silicosis, disseminated tuberculosis, metastatic lung cancer, and other diffuse, infiltrative pulmonary diseases.

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II

    illustration

  • Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II #2

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II #2 - illustration

    This chest x-ray shows coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II. There are diffuse, small (2 to 4 mm each), light areas throughout both lungs. In the right upper lung (seen on the left side of the picture), there is a light area (measuring approximately 2 cm by 4 cm) with poorly defined borders, representing coalescence (merging together) of previously distinct light areas. Diseases which may explain these x-ray findings include simple coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) - stage II, silico-tuberculosis, disseminated tuberculosis, metastatic lung cancer, and other diffuse infiltrative pulmonary diseases.

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II #2

    illustration

  • Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated - illustration

    This picture shows complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis. There are diffuse, small, light areas (3 to 5 mm) in all areas on both sides of the lungs. There are large light areas which run together with poorly defined borders in the upper areas on both sides of the lungs. Diseases which may explain these X-ray findings include complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP), silico-tuberculosis, disseminated tuberculosis, metastatic lung cancer, and other diffuse infiltrative pulmonary diseases.

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated

    illustration

  • Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated #2

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated #2 - illustration

    This picture shows complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis. There are diffuse, massive light areas that run together in the upper and middle parts of both lungs. These are superimposed on a background of small and poorly distinguishable light areas that are diffuse and located in both lungs. Diseases which may explain these x-ray findings include, but are not limited to: complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP), silico-tuberculosis, and metastatic lung cancer.

    Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated #2

    illustration

  • Respiratory system

    Respiratory system - illustration

    Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.

    Respiratory system

    illustration

    • Lungs

      Lungs - illustration

      The major features of the lungs include the bronchi, the bronchioles and the alveoli. The alveoli are the microscopic blood vessel-lined sacks in which oxygen and carbon dioxide gas are exchanged.

      Lungs

      illustration

    • Coal worker's lungs - chest X-ray

      Coal worker's lungs - chest X-ray - illustration

      This chest x-ray shows coal worker's lungs. There are diffuse, small, light areas on both sides (1 to 3 mm) in all parts of the lungs. Diseases that may result in an x-ray like this include: simple coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) - stage I, simple silicosis, miliary tuberculosis, histiocytosis X (eosinophilic granuloma), and other diffuse infiltrate pulmonary diseases.

      Coal worker's lungs - chest X-ray

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II - illustration

      This chest x-ray shows stage II coal worker's pneumoconiosis (CWP). There are diffuse, small light areas on both sides of the lungs. Other diseases that may explain these x-ray findings include simple silicosis, disseminated tuberculosis, metastatic lung cancer, and other diffuse, infiltrative pulmonary diseases.

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II #2

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II #2 - illustration

      This chest x-ray shows coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II. There are diffuse, small (2 to 4 mm each), light areas throughout both lungs. In the right upper lung (seen on the left side of the picture), there is a light area (measuring approximately 2 cm by 4 cm) with poorly defined borders, representing coalescence (merging together) of previously distinct light areas. Diseases which may explain these x-ray findings include simple coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) - stage II, silico-tuberculosis, disseminated tuberculosis, metastatic lung cancer, and other diffuse infiltrative pulmonary diseases.

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis - stage II #2

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated - illustration

      This picture shows complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis. There are diffuse, small, light areas (3 to 5 mm) in all areas on both sides of the lungs. There are large light areas which run together with poorly defined borders in the upper areas on both sides of the lungs. Diseases which may explain these X-ray findings include complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP), silico-tuberculosis, disseminated tuberculosis, metastatic lung cancer, and other diffuse infiltrative pulmonary diseases.

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated #2

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated #2 - illustration

      This picture shows complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis. There are diffuse, massive light areas that run together in the upper and middle parts of both lungs. These are superimposed on a background of small and poorly distinguishable light areas that are diffuse and located in both lungs. Diseases which may explain these x-ray findings include, but are not limited to: complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP), silico-tuberculosis, and metastatic lung cancer.

      Coal workers pneumoconiosis, complicated #2

      illustration

    • Respiratory system

      Respiratory system - illustration

      Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.

      Respiratory system

      illustration


     

    Review Date: 6/22/2015

    Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
    adam.com

     
     
     

     

     

    A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.



    Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.