Silicosis caused by the inhalation/deposition of free silica particles is characterized by pulmonary inflammation/fibrosis. Among the clinical disorders associated with silicosis, tuberculosis is by far the most prominent. A 66-year-old male non-smoker, originally from North Africa, reported a dry cough and significant weight loss. He was a foundry worker. He had a medical history of bladder carcinoma associated with schistosomiasis. Computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET)/CT showed bilateral multiple hypermetabolic lung nodules, some with cavitation. The patient underwent surgical resection of the largest nodule, which was highly suspicious of lung metastasis. The histological examination revealed multiple nodular formations. Several lesions showed the characteristic features of silicotic nodules. There were also adjacent well-formed granulomas, some with central caseous necrosis. A real-time polymerase chain reaction, performed for the identification and quantification of the DNA of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, was positive. Pulmonary silico-tuberculosis is often encountered in patients with a history of silica exposure in tuberculosis-endemic areas. This case serves as a reminder to never underestimate patient occupational exposure and geographic origin. A careful histological diagnosis and molecular investigation are mandatory when approaching difficult cases, especially patients with a prior cancer history and clinical/radiological features suggestive of tumour recurrence/metastasis.

A Complex Case of Pulmonary Silico-Tuberculosis and Review of Literature

Pezzuto F.;Comacchio G.;Giraudo C.;Calabrese F.;
2023

Abstract

Silicosis caused by the inhalation/deposition of free silica particles is characterized by pulmonary inflammation/fibrosis. Among the clinical disorders associated with silicosis, tuberculosis is by far the most prominent. A 66-year-old male non-smoker, originally from North Africa, reported a dry cough and significant weight loss. He was a foundry worker. He had a medical history of bladder carcinoma associated with schistosomiasis. Computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET)/CT showed bilateral multiple hypermetabolic lung nodules, some with cavitation. The patient underwent surgical resection of the largest nodule, which was highly suspicious of lung metastasis. The histological examination revealed multiple nodular formations. Several lesions showed the characteristic features of silicotic nodules. There were also adjacent well-formed granulomas, some with central caseous necrosis. A real-time polymerase chain reaction, performed for the identification and quantification of the DNA of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, was positive. Pulmonary silico-tuberculosis is often encountered in patients with a history of silica exposure in tuberculosis-endemic areas. This case serves as a reminder to never underestimate patient occupational exposure and geographic origin. A careful histological diagnosis and molecular investigation are mandatory when approaching difficult cases, especially patients with a prior cancer history and clinical/radiological features suggestive of tumour recurrence/metastasis.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3499308
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