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This information was reviewed and approved by Maura Robinson (5/1/2012).

Several tests are commonly used in the diagnosis and monitoring of pneumoconiosis.

  • A detailed medical, occupational and environmental history and physical examination are always required.
  • Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are measured to determine the percentage of lung capacity and function that may have been lost due to scarring. 
  • Measurement of arterial blood gases (ABGs) are used to determine if the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the alveoli is impaired. 
  • Imaging procedures, such as chest X-rays and CT scans, are used to visualize the nodules and scarring in the lungs. Physicians trained as B-readers may review the chest X-ray in order to classify the nodules or scars by their distribution, size and shape.

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