Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra
versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627
Microscopic techniques for the analysis of fibres in pulmonary tissue and bronchovesicular washing have provided information of great interest for a better understanding of diseases related to the inhalation of asbestos. These tests serve to help in establishing an individual estimation of previous exposure to asbestos. A mineralogical analysis of the concentration of intra-pulmonary fibres can be needed on some special occasions, for example when the data obtained from the occupational history are of scarce relevance or inconclusive. For these reasons, this type of study is increasingly used in clinical work and in resolving medico-legal problems, but the complexity of some of them makes the creation of reference laboratories useful as they make methodological homogenisation possible and facilitate the comparison of results. Plueropulmonary diseases related to inhaling asbestos are considered to be of occupational type and are therefore subject to a series of legal requisites for their recognition and possible compensation. A history of exposure with a suitable latency period, together with a compatible clinical-radiological picture, can be sufficient for the diagnosis but, in certain situations, such as when the exposure data are not precise, the analysis and detection of asbestos fibres in respiratory samples or from the pulmonary tissue can be clarifying.
Palabras clave : Asbestos; Bronchovesicular wash; Fibres.