Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis

The occurrence of rheumatoid nodules in association with pneumoconiosis is known as Caplan's syndrome. The pneumoconiosis may be caused by silicosis, asbestosis, aluminosis, or some other inorganic occupational lung disease. Caplan's syndrome is much more common in Europe than in North America. Pulmonary parenchymal nodules in Caplan's syndrome measure 1 to 5 cm in diameter, evolve rapidly, undergo cavitation, appear in crops, and are often associated with other respiratory lesions. Histopathological examination reveals features similar to those of rheumatoid nodules together with the presence of pneumoconiotic material in the center.

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