IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Clinical and experimental studies of asbestosis


Asbestosis is frequently detected late in its progression, and there is currently no effective treatment for this pulmonary disorder. During this study, a variety of screening and analytical procedures were examined (standard x-rays, pulmonary function tests, Gallium-67 absorption combined with nuclear imaging, computerized axial tomography, and broncho-alveolar washing). The influence of personal factors (genetic factors, variations in respiratory filtration) on the development of the disease was also investigated. Trials of possible therapeutic measures were performed. Standard x-rays remain the most effective diagnostic technique for inflammation that precedes the onset of asbestosis. Computerized axial tomography is, however, a more sensitive technique for the detection of the disease itself, and facilitates topographic study. The other techniques are useful for the study of specific parameters, and of the progression of the disease. Individuals with respiratory filtration deficits are more susceptible to the disease. Experimental therapy designed to combat the progression of asbestosis was ineffective. Studies of the disease and of its progression can provide a basis for the development of therapeutic measures. Occupational exposure standards have been revised as a result of early and regular screening of the disease and reference to exposure indices.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0083-0010
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 1986
  • Wolf Seufert (Université de Sherbrooke)