Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

Støvlunger is a common term for various conditions, which have accumulated dust in the lungs. The particles cause inflammation (betændelsesreaktion) and subsequent connective and arvævsdannelse with impaired lung function to follow. The most common is work with asbestos and silikakorn, which are small parts of the stone.

Lungerne is not good to separate the small particles, and therefore they will be able to do damage in lungevævet many years after that one has been exposed to them. The body reacts to the damage with the development of arvæv, which increases with time and makes the volume of normal lung tissue is reduced. This is calledinterstitial lung diseaseand causes the lungs lose their elasticity, which is important for vejrtrækningsfunktionen.


Tilstanden named by the substance to støvpartiklen come from, that is.asbestosisby asbestos,silicosisby silikakorn etc.



Silikose is a disease that occurs in people who suffer stenstøv. It typically seen in støberiarbejdere, miners, stenhuggere, stenblæsere and workers in the construction industry.

When inhaled, these particles activate the immune system, and there will be a strong inflammation in the lungs. This means that the architecture of lungevævet changed, and that less tissue waste in the lung door.



Asbestosis is a lung disease, which occurs after prolonged exposure to particles of asbestos fibres. Asbestos brugtes primarily in tagplader, insulation and floors. Former asbestos was also used frequently as pipe insulation. The substance is no longer used today, and those who are exposed to asbestos, are people who remove or dismantle former action asbestos. It requires a relatively large degree of exposure to asbestos before they become ill, and therefore, the disease is now rare in Denmark.

Asbestos fibres deposited in lungevævet, and lungs have difficulty in separating them. As a result, there referred to a strong inflammation, and the architecture changed. Particularly affected lungehinden that can fortykkes due to attack and hardening.


Other forms of støvlunger may originate from, among other things, aluminium, iron, beryllium and cadmium.


The changes in lungevævet is depending on the type and amount of indåndede stofpartikler, by the time the impact occurred, and the incidence of infections in the lungs.

Symptoms of støvlunger

The symptoms of the above diseases are rarely quickly indsættende. Up to years after exposure has ended, there will be a slow development, and there are typicallyanstrengelsesudløstbreathinganddry cough. Late in the process can also occuramended nailsby asbestosis. The effect on lung function varies (see Select and complications below).

Precautions and diagnosis

If you have been exposed to the particles and feel some of the above symptoms, you should consult a doctor. Both pulmonary diseases are rare and should be examined by a specialist. In the first instance will be listened to the lungs with a Stethoscope, will be an X-ray of the thorax, and in some cases is also a CT scan . In order to form an impression of lung function also made a lungefunktionsundersøgelse.


By silicosis is a very distinctive look, when you look at a vævsprøve in a microscope, and the doctor can easily make the diagnosis.

By asbestosis to see the so-called asbestlegemer by microscopy of lung tissue, and therefore can be diagnosed easily made when compared with sygehistorien.

Consideration of støvlunger

There are no immediate treatment of these diseases.

In some cases, it may help with asthma medicine, which expands the airways.

Select and complications

Many cases of silicosis proceed quietly, and there is no great effect on lung function. For more difficult cases arise sharply reduced lung function, and to have pumped more blood to the lungs, which have increased resistance to blood vessels due to arvæv, there is increased activity of the heart right side, which magnified ( højresidigt heart failure ). It is also revealed that silicosis increases the risk of getting TB and lung cancer .

By asbestosis, one sees a deterioration of lung function, which can be seen in very different degrees. There is subsequent breathing difficulties and magnification of the right hjertehalvdel.


The asbestos can cause serious complications, as the disease is associated with more cases of lung cancer and cancer in lungehinden (mesothelioma). This risk is increased a great deal (up to 60 times), if the person is at the same time smoker.

Prevention of støvlunger

The disease can be prevented by avoiding subjecting themselves to the said substances. Removing the old tagplader or similar, it is important to use the mask if you are in doubt whether there could be no asbestos-containing materials.






Related articles:

Acute Bronchitis
Allergic alveolitis
ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome)
Bronkiektasi (Bronkieudvidelse)
Chronic Bronchitis
COPD (Chronic Obstruktiv Lungesygdom, Rygerlunger)
Empyem in lungehulen (Lungehulebetændelse)
Interstitielle lung diseases
Lung absces
Lung cancer
Lungs and respiratory passages
Pneumoconioses, Asbestosis
Pneumonia (Pneumonia)
Pneumothorax (Lungecollapse, Ruptured lung)
Sarcoidosis (Morbus Boeck)
Water in the lungs (Pulmonary oedema)



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