Thomas G. Benedek, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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In 1953 A. Caplan postulated that some coal miners with rheumatoid arthritis have pulmonary lesions from this disease that are distinct from the common varieties of pneumoconiosis. He suggested, but did not prove, that the characteristic micronodular infiltrates develop with months and then usually stabilize. Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis now is a recognized syndrome, but it has rarely been described in the United States, and its mode of onset still has not been well documented.
In a survey of 100 bituminous coal miners with rheumatoid arthritis in Western Pennsylvania two cases were found that met the radiographic criteria of Caplan's syndrome. One
Benedek TG. The Onset of Rheumatoid Pneumoconiosis.. Ann Intern Med. 1973;78:833. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-78-5-833_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1973;78(5):833.
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