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Br Med J. 1970 Aug 29;3(5721):481-7.

Emphysema in coal workers' pneumoconiosis.


A correlation survey has been carried out between the pathological, physiological, and radiological findings pertaining to emphysema in 247 deceased coal miners and ex-miners, most of whom had been diagnosed as suffering from coal workers' pneumoconiosis during life. The pathological findings, which included large lung sections and detailed histology in every case, were compared with similar findings in a contrast non-mining population matched for age and sex.The results indicated that emphysema was much more common among the coal miners, both with simple and with complicated pneumoconiosis, than among the contrast group. In addition the extent of the emphysema as measured by a recognized "counting" method carried out on paper-mounted lung sections was remarkably closely related to ventilatory impairment as evidenced by the forced expiratory volume in one second.Extensive emphysema was more commonly found in those pneumoconiosis cases, both simple and complicated, showing the finer punctiform type of radiological change than in cases showing the larger micronodular and nodular opacities.

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