Role of Chest Computed Tomography in Prevention of Occupational Respiratory Disease: Review of Recent Literature
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Role of Chest Computed Tomography in Prevention of Occupational Respiratory Disease: Review of Recent Literature

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  • Alternative Title:
    Semin Respir Crit Care Med
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    This review provides an update on literature published over the past 5 years that is relevant to using chest computed tomography (CT) as a tool for preventing occupational respiratory disease. An important area of investigation has been in the use of low-dose CT (LDCT) to screen asbestos-exposed populations for lung cancer. Two recent systematic reviews have reached conclusions in support of screening. Based on the limited evidence that is currently available, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has recommended LDCT screening in asbestos-exposed individuals if their personal combination of risk factors yields a risk for lung cancer equal to that needed for entry into the National Lung Screening Trial. It has also recommended further research, such as to document the optimal frequency of screening and the effectiveness of screening. Recent literature continues to support high-resolution CT (HRCT) as being more sensitive than chest radiography in detecting pneumoconiosis. However, there are insufficient data to determine the effectiveness of HRCT screening in improving individual outcomes if used in screening for pneumoconiosis and its routine use for this purpose cannot be recommended. However, if HRCT is used to evaluate populations, recent literature shows that the International Classification of HRCT for Occupational and Environmental Respiratory Diseases provides an important tool for reproducible evaluation and recording of findings. HRCT is an important tool for individual patient management and recent literature has documented that chest HRCT findings are significantly associated with outcomes such as pulmonary function and mortality.
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