Welders’ lung

  • Izidor Kern
  • Katarina Osolnik
  • Igor Požek


Background: Welders’ lung is a pneumoconiosis of benign clinical course following inhalation exposure to welding fumes. It represents the deposition of iron oxides in the lungs. h e purpose of this study was to highlight the occupational history, appropriate diagnostic work-up and proper action at er the established diagnosis. Methods: We investigated i ve patients, longterm welders who were admitted to our hospital in the last two years because of possible interstitial lung disease. h ey underwent bronchoscopy with transbronchial biopsy and bronchoalveolar lavage, high resolution computed tomography of chest and pulmonary function testing. Results: h e patients were male, non- or exsmokers, with a long history of occupational exposure to welding. h e most common symptom was dyspnea on ef ort, accompanied with productive cough. Pulmonary function tests showed no abnormalities. HRCT disclosed centrilobular ground glass nodular opacities. Macrophagic reaction with positive stainig for iron was present in bronchoalveolar lavage. In lung tissue, we observed intense iron deposition with no i - brosis. Patients were discussed together with occupational medical doctor. h ey were advised to stop the exposure. Conclusions: h is study coni rms that longterm welders may have symptoms with no functional disorders, but with prominent morphological changes. h e key to correct diagnosis is an occupational history of the patient. Diagnostic work-up includes funda-mental procedures in suspected interstitial lung disease. h e best therapy is cessation of exposure.


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How to Cite
Kern I, Osolnik K, Požek I. Welders’ lung. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1Feb.2010 [cited 7Apr.2020];79(2). Available from: https://vestnik.szd.si/index.php/ZdravVest/article/view/228
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