Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra
versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627
Asbestosis is a diffuse interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, secondary to the inhalation of asbestos fibres. There is a dose-response relationship between exposure to asbestos and the risk of developing asbestosis, in such a way that the greater the exposure, the greater the risk of developing the disease. The time of clinical latency is inversely proportional to the level of exposure. Dyspnoea upon exertion and a dry cough together with end-inspiratory crackles are the most frequent symptoms and signs. Chest radiography is a basic tool in identifying the disease, however high resolution CAT has added greater sensitivity. Tests of the respiratory function show alterations and restrictive ventilations with a reduction of pulmonary spread. Determination of asbestos bodies in BAL is an indicator of exposure, although their absence does not rule out the disease. A histopathological diagnosis is the most reliable, although in the majority of cases the diagnosis is established on the basis of the existence of an antecedent of exposure to asbestos together with suggestive clinical, radiological and functional findings, and a suitable time of latency, without having recourse to a pulmonary biopsy.
Palabras clave : Asbestos; Asbestosis.