Acute Silicosis

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Acute Silicosis

A complication of intense exposure to respirable crystalline silica, associated with sandblasting, coal mining, or any other job in which there is heavy exposure to fine particulate silica. Unlike classic silicosis, acute silicosis appears within a few weeks to 5 years of initial exposure. 
Occupations Abrasive (sand) blasting, mining, quarrying, manufacture of abrasives—including abrasive soaps, tunnelling, foundry work, glass manufacture, ceramic and pottery production, and cement and concrete production.
Clinical findings Rapid onset of severe respiratory impairment, dyspnoea, cough, weakness, weight loss, often leading to death.
Imaging, chest Multifocal ground glass appearance and air space consolidation.
DiffDx Pneumonia, pulmonary oedema, alveolar haemorrhage, bronchioloalveolar cell cancer.