Korean J Radiol.  2000 Jun;1(2):79-83. 10.3348/kjr.2000.1.2.79.

Thin-Section CT Findings of Arc-Welders' Pneumoconiosis

  • 1Department of Radiology and the Institute of Radiation Medicine, MRC, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


To describe the thin-section CT findings of arc-welders' pneumoco-niosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty-five arc-welders with a three to 30 (mean, 15)-year history of exposure underwent thin-section CT scanning. The extent of abnormalities detected was correlated with the severity of dyspnea and pulmonary function tests. For comparison, images of 43 smoking males (mean 25 pack-year) who underwent thin-section CT for other reasons (smokers' group) were also analyzed. RESULTS: Fifty-four welders (63.5%) and six smokers (14.0%) showed positive findings. Predominant thin-section CT findings were poorly-defined centrilobular micronodules (30/54, 55.6%), branching linear structure (18/54, 33.3%), and ground-glass attenuation (6/54, 11.1%). In the smokers' group, poorly-defined micronodules were found in four patients, branching linear structures in one, and ground-glass attenuation in one. In welders, the extent of abnormalities seen on thin-section CT showed no significant correlation with the severity of dyspnea or the results of pulmonary funotion test. CONCLUSION: Poorly-defined centrilobular micronodules and branching linear structures were the thin-section CT findings most frequently seen in patients with arc-welders' pneumoconiosis. Less commonly, extensive ground-glass attenua-tion was also seen


Lungs, diseases; Lungs, interstitial disease; Computed tomography (CT),Pneumoconiosis

MeSH Terms

Case-Control Studies
Comparative Study
*Ferric Compounds
Smoking/adverse effects
Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
*Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fig. 1 46-year-old man whose smoking and exposure history were not available. Thin-section CT at the level of the origin of the right middle lobar bronchus shows poorly-defined centrilobular micronodules (arrows). Visual assessment indicated that the extent of abnormalities was 30 - 40%.

  • Fig. 2 42-year-old man with a 20 pack-year smoking history and 14 years exposure to arc-welding. Pulmonary function tests were normal. Thin-section CT scan obtained at the level of the left lower lobar bronchus shows branching linear structures (arrows). According to visual assessment, the extent of abnormalities was 20-30%.

  • Fig. 3 46-year-old man for whom smoking and exposure history were not available. Thin-section CT scan obtained below the carina shows areas of ground-glass attenuation. Visual assessment revealed that extent of abnormalities was 70-80%.


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