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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1996;29(4): 853-862.
Diagnostic Meaning of High Resolution Computed Tomography Compared with Chest Radiography for Screening of Welder's lung.
J H Kang, J H Chun, H W Gu, K S Ko, B C Yu, H S Sohn, J T Lee
Pneumoconiosis is one of the major problem in the field of occupational health at Korea. Therefore, the efficient diagnosis of pneumoconiosis is a hot issue on the occupational health program. The author executed this study to estimate the diagnostic value of high resolution computed tomography(HRCT) compared with chest radiography for screening of welder's lung. HRCT was introduced very recently for the diagnosis of pneumoconiosis, however, the diagnostic value for screening of welder's lung-principally nonfibrogenic and reversible-has not been evaluated. The subjects were fifty cases of welder's lung or suspected cases who had been collected between 1989 and 1994 from one shipyard and continuously followed-up on the basis of in-plant periodic health check program. We applied both chest radiography and HRCT on the same subjects from May 1 to 30, 1996. The images were evaluated by two careered radiologists independently. The findings of chest radiography were classified into four category by ILO classification, and the findings of HRCT according to the criteria of Bergin et al. The concordance between two radiologists expressed with Kendall's tau-b was 0.72 by chest radiography and 0.44 by HRCT- that is, interobserver variation of HRCT was bigger than that of chest radiography. The concordance between the two different methods was highly variable as 0.44 by radiologist A and 0.06 by radiologist B- that is, interobserver variation was very big. However, HRCT looked more detectable for the minor parenchymal change. These findings suggested that it is not appropriate to use HRCT routinely for screening of welder's lung due to lack of diagnostic criteria, and feasibility, acceptability and economic aspects. Nevertheless, HRCT might be recommendable in the case of equivocal parenchymal features on the chest radiography, unexplained respiratory symptoms, and/or lung function abnormalities suggestive of interstitial fibrosis.
Key words: welder's lung; screening; HRCT; chest radiography
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