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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
can working in underground coal mines cause this disease? What tests can be run for black lung?
Granulomatous disease is usually the result of exposure to or prior infection with fungal diseases such as histoplasmosis or other pulmonary infections. In other cases, it may be the result of inflammatory conditions of the lung such as prior sarcoidosis. It is not usually a manifestation of coal miners' lung/black lung. The diagnosis of black lung relies on characteristic changes on chest x-ray or CT and supporting lung biopsy results. Pulmonary function testing may also be abnormal. Due to the fact that black lung is associated with work exposure to coal, only certified readers trained to read chest x-rays or CTs specifically to look for black lung should be consulted.
Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University