BACKGROUND: In previous study, most patients with bronchial anthracofibrosis (BAF) were non-miners, and non-occupational old aged females. However, the clinical significance of BAF in patients with coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is unknown. METHODS: Among patients with CWP who transferred to our hospital for an evaluation of associated pulmonary diseases, 32 patients who had undergone a bronchofibroscopy (BFS) and chest computed tomography (CT) examination were evaluated for the association of the BAF using a retrospective chart review. RESULTS: Nine of the 32 CWP patients (28%) were complicated with BAF. Four of the 16 simple CWP patients (25%) were complicated with BAF. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) classification by profusion, 2 out of 3 patients in category 1, 1 out of 8 patients in category 2 and 1 out of 3 patients in category 3 were complicated with BAF. Five out of 16 complicated CWP patients were complicated with BAF. Three out of 7 patients in type A and 2 out of 5 patients in type C were complicated with BAF. CWP patients with BAF had significantly greater multiple bronchial thickening and multiple mediastinal or hilar lymph node enlargement than the CWP patients without BAF. There was no difference in the other clinical features between the CWP patients with BAF and those without BAF. CONCLUSION: Many CWP patients were complicated with BAF. The occurrence of BAF was not associated with the severity of CWP progression. Therefore, a careful evaluation of the airway with a bronchoscopy examination and chest CT is warranted for BAF complicated CWP patients who present with respiratory symptoms and signs, even ILO class category 1 simple CWP patients.