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Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Sep;16(3):101-7. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.111746.

Biomarkers: A potential prognostic tool for silicosis.

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Respiratory Protection Laboratory, Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Barwa Road, Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India.


Long-term exposure to respirable dust containing silica leads to pneumoconiosis/silicosis. The disease is irreversible and incurable, and only preventive steps such as job rotation, use of personal protective equipment, etc., remain solutions to the problem. Under such a situation, early diagnosis or prediction may become very useful to control the disease. Biomarkers are biological parameters in blood serum that change their values with deposition of dust in the lung and onset of lung fibrosis. Since these biomarkers can help us to diagnose and in the prognosis of the disease before it is actually diagnosed by the conventional X-ray technique and lung function test used for diagnosis of silicosis. The present paper describes the various types of available biomarkers, their application and usefulness. The paper also suggests that further study of the behavior/level of these biomarkers on a specific subject with time may provide more useful information of a confirmatory nature for prevention of dust-linked diseases.


Biomarker; coal workers pneumoconiosis; silicosis

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