We measured lung density by means of x-ray computed tomography and lung mechanics in 33 workers exposed to asbestos cement and in 39 normal subjects. The exposed group showed evidence of lung fibrosis with reduced static lung volumes and lung compliance, although only three subjects had signs of interstitial fibrosis at standard chest radiography. Lung density was significantly increased in the exposed workers compared to control subjects, with greater differences between nonsmokers than between smokers. Lung density correlated inversely with static lung volumes. There was no appreciable difference in the regional distribution of lung density between exposed workers and control subjects. We conclude that lung density is often increased in workers with mild asbestosis, even in the presence of a normal chest radiograph. Measurement of lung density may be of value in the evaluation of asbestos-exposed workers for assessment of the extent of parenchymal disease.
- Lungmedicin och allergi