Thoracic Research and Practice
Original Article

High-resolution Computed Tomography Findings in Arc-welders


Kırıkkale University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Chest Diseases, Kırıkkale, Turkey


Department of Radiology, Kirikkale University Faculty of Medicine, Kirikkale, Turkey


Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Kirikkale University Faculty of Medicine, Kirikkale, Turkey

Thorac Res Pract 2006; 7: Turkish Respiratory Journal 52-55
Read: 453 Downloads: 315 Published: 12 October 2021

Background: Welding work is associated with exposure to various fumes and gases that are potentially harmful to the respiratory system. Objective: To describe high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings in arc-welders.

Materials and Methods: The study involved 36 arc-welders and 26 officers as the control group. Arc-welders with a history of 2-to-3O years’ exposure and control subjects underwent HRCT scanning. The welders were grouped according to their smoking habits (smokers, n=14; non-smokers, n=22). HRCT findings of both groups were compared.

Results: Predominant HRCT findings in the arc-welders were poorly-defined centrilobular micronodules (31/36, 86.1%) and branching linear structures (17/36, 47.2%). Poorly-de­fined centrilobular micronodules were found in 12 (85.7%) patients in the smokers subgroup, and 19 (86.4%) patients in the non-smokers subgroup. The branching linear structures were found in 7 (50.0%) patients in the smokers subgroup, and 10 (45.5%) patients in the non-smokers subgroup. Ground-glass pattern was not observed in either of the two subgroups. Moreover, no difference was found in CT abnormalities between these two subgroups. In the control group, poorly-defined centrilobular micronodules were found in 14 (53.8%) subjects, but branching linear structures and ground-glass pattern were not observed. Differences in CT abnormalities were significant between arc-welders and controls (p=0.005). There was no signifi­cant relationship between pulmonary function tests and spread of mi­cronodules (FEV^/o r=-0.10, p=0.6; FVC% r =-0.08, p=0.6) and welding duration (FEV/% r =-0.09, p=0.6; FVC% r =-0.21, p=0.2).

Conclusion: Poorly-defined centrilobular micronodules and branching linear structures were the most frequently seen HRCT abnormalities in arc-welders. Occurrence of these similar findings less frequently and intensely in non-smoker control subjects requires the investigation of other potentially causative inhalants.

EISSN 2979-9139