Pulmonary silicotuberculosis in an electrician male - Case report and literature review

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This is a case report of a pulmonary silicotuberculosis in a former smoker, male, 43 years old, having 21 years of occupational exposure to particulate coniotic-free crystalline-silicon dioxide as an electrician, developing symptoms as fever higher than 38°C, dry cough and diffuse chest pain, being diagnosed with miliary of the lung in 2002. Silicosis was confirmed later by histological exam obtained through an exploratory thoracotomy and it was included in the transient first to second stage of pneumoconiosis. Three years later, in July 2005, Pulmonary Tuberculosis was diagnosed by acid-fast stains positive smears. The evolution of the case was to a progressive deterioration till 2008, leading to silicosis stage III. Silicosis is a pulmonary fibrosis which must be always suspected in persons working in conditions of occupational exposure to dust of silicon dioxide, having suggestive radiological changes including micronodular radiological pattern or pseudotumoral one. Once the diagnosis of silicosis is confirmed, tuberculosis may be frequently associated. The more advanced silicosis is, the more the combination of the two diseases is commonly revealing and, often, the TB morbidity among workers in the silica industry exceeds that of general population. A hint orientation for the silicotuberculosis’ diagnosis, in this reported case, was represented by the radiological dynamic of the lesions. Tuberculosis lesions are less dense and imprecisely defined, located in upper lobes and develop necrotic centers.

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