Asbestosis is a type of pneumoconiosis caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers and occurs primarily as a result of occupational exposure. After a long latency period, this condition manifests with nonspecific symptoms, e.g., coughing and dyspnea, which are caused by fibrotic changes in the lungs. The diagnosis is established based on a history of occupational exposure (such as working with textiles, cement, ship-building, insulation) and characteristic changes on chest x-ray (reticular opacities and pleural plaques). Currently, there is no curative treatment for asbestosis. Management consists of measures that provide symptomatic relief like oxygen therapy, prompt antimicrobial treatment of respiratory infections, cessation of exposure, and immunization against influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia. Long-term exposure to asbestos can lead to complications like fibrosis, respiratory failure, and malignancy (especially bronchogenic carcinoma, and mesothelioma). Pleural effusion may be the first sign of a malignant mesothelioma. A combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy is used to manage malignant mesothelioma. The prognosis of patients with malignant mesothelioma is poor, with the mean survival time being ∼ 1 year.
- Type of caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers
- Occupations involving the manufacture or demolition of ships, plumbing, roofing, insulation, heat-resistant clothing, and brake lining
- Inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers into alveoli → inflammation and fibrosis of pleural parenchyma → risk of carcinogenic effects
- Long latent period
- Exertional dyspnea
- Dry cough → productive cough
- Digital clubbing
- Bilateral fine, basal end-inspiratory rales
- Diffuse bilateral infiltrates predominantly in the lower lobes
- Interstitial fibrosis
Supradiaphragmatic and pleural reticulonodular opacities/plaques
- Initially, mostly linear infiltrates are seen.
- Eventually, calcified (ivory white) or noncalcified plaques appear.
- In some cases,
- Radiographs are classified by the extent of radiographic abnormalities according to the WHO International Labor Office classification. 
- Chest x-ray
- Pulmonary function test: restrictive ventilatory defects (decreased pulmonary compliance)
- Bronchoalveolar lavage : microscopic asbestos bodies
- No curative treatment exists; management includes the following measures.
- Palliative care in the case of advanced disease
- Definition: malignant tumor that develops from mesothelial cells
- Pleural mesothelioma (most common)
- Peritoneal mesothelioma (rarely)
- Pericardial mesothelioma (very rarely)
- Clinical findings
- Pleurocentesis; : bloody (exudative) pleural effusion
- Imaging (chest x-ray and CT)
Laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, and pleuroscopy with stained biopsy: reveals mesothelioma cells and psammoma bodies
- The procedures carry risk of implantation metastasis. 
- It is important to differentiate mesothelioma from adenocarcinoma.
- Treatment 
- Prognosis: poor, with a mean survival time of ∼ 1 year
- Progressive respiratory failure
We list the most important complications. The selection is not exhaustive.