Objective To explore the correlation between pulmonary function and chest radiograph fibrosis score among patients with pneumoconiosis.
Methods A total of 100 patients with pneumoconiosis treated at the Shandong Academy of Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine from November 2020 to April 2021 were studied. The chest digital radiography of these patients was evaluated, and the fibrosis score was assessed based on the density of shadow in each lung area on the chest X-ray. The relationship between the score of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary function was analyzed.
Results Among 100 male cases of pneumoconiosis, 37 cases were in the first stage, 41 cases in the second stage, and 22 cases in the third stage. 34 cases had lung function impairment, including 22 mild, 11 moderate, and 1 severe case, with an incidence of 27.02% in the first stage, 29.26% in the second stage, and 54.54% in the third stage; the difference was significant (P < 0.05). The fibrosis score increased with the pneumoconiosis stage (P < 0.01), and the forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), FEV1/FVC, 75% maximal expiratory flow (MEF75), and 50% maximal expiratory flow (MEF50) decreased (P < 0.05). The scores of pulmonary fibrosis were negatively correlated with FVC, FEV1, MEF75, MEF50, 25% vital capacity (MEF25), and the single breath diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO SB) (r=- 0.339, - 0.431, - 0.334, - 0.362, - 0.369, - 0.245, P < 0.05). The patients with more severe pulmonary function had a higher score of fibrosis (P < 0.05).
Conclusions The fibrosis score on the chest radiograph of pneumoconiosis patients is a useful indicator for the clinician to evaluate the lung function damage caused by pneumoconiosis.