JAMES E. CONE, M.D., M.P.H.
To the editor: Dr. Crystal (1) suggests that in modern clinical practice the diagnosis of sarcoidosis is usually unambiguous. This statement may, however, mislead readers who are confronted with a disease that at times closely resembles the clinical, pathologic, and radiologic presentation of sarcoidosis but that has a very different prognosis and potential for prevention: beryllium disease (2).
An occupational history may be deceptive. Exposure to beryllium may occur without a worker's knowledge, due to maintenance of trade secrecy in industry or to exposure to material such as mineral ores contaiminated with beryllium at low, but nonetheless biologically significant, levels.
CONE JE. Sarcoidosis and Beryllium Disease. Ann Intern Med. ;94:822. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-94-6-822_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1981;94(6):822.
Emergency Medicine, Interstitial Lung Disease, Pulmonary/Critical Care.
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