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Silicosis - acute

  • Alternative Names

    Silicoproteinosis; progressive massive fibrosis


    There is no specific treatment for silicosis. Whole-lung lavage or treatment with corticosteroids may be attempted. For those with end-stage lung disease, lung transplantation may be an option.

    Supportive treatment includes cough suppression medications, bronchodilators, and oxygen if needed for shortness of breath. Antibiotics are prescribed for respiratory infections as needed. In general, silicosis patients should be screened for tuberculosis and treated if indicated.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    The outcome depends on the severity of lung scarring. The severity of the disease is usually related to the amount of silica to which the person was exposed. Acute silicosis has a poor prognosis.


    A complication is respiratory failure. Patients with silicosis are at increased risk of developing pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have occupational exposure to silica and you develop symptoms.