A 21-year-old male having a history of 4 years of working at a denim factory as a sandblaster was diagnosed with pulmonary silicosis and he was also an active smoker. Productive cough, dyspnea on effort, night sweats, and weight loss in a short period of time were his complaints. Chronic occupational exposure to tiny particles of silicon dioxide can stimulate parenchymal inflammation, collagen synthesis and, ultimately pulmonary fibrosis called silicosis. A typical history of exposure and chest X-ray is usually enough for diagnosis. No effective treatment exists except supportive care. Although chest X-ray of the patient revealed bilateral disseminated micronodular densities, a peripherally diffuse prominent FDG [(F-18)-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose] uptake in both lungs and faint FDG uptake in mediastinal lymph nodes demonstrating active inflammation regions were noted on PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan. This case was presented to show the active disease discriminated by FDG PET from chronic changes detected by radiological studies. FDG PET can provide additional information to CT regarding the diagnosis of acute silicosis and the rare accelerated silicosis.
Silicosis Occupational diseases Positron emission tomography PET
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