Lung - nontumor
Pneumoconiosis
General

Author: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 1 March 2017, last major update September 2011

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: pneumoconiosis [title] general

Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: General. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/lungnontumorpneumoconiosisgen.html. Accessed May 25th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Nonneoplastic 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