A patient is seen in the clinic for a routine checkup. The patient was diagnosed with simple silicosis 6 months ago and has had no significant changes since. The nurse explains to the patient that simple silicosis is characterized by

an x-ray revealing small opacities

Explanation

Simple silicosis: The patient was exposed to low concentrations of silica and is usually asymptomatic. Abnormalities are usually detected on x-ray.

Accelerated silicosis: This is characterized by rapidly progressing symptoms and x-ray changes.

Complicated silicosis: This is characterized by severe scarring and fibrosis of the lung tissue.

Acute silicosis: Acute silicosis develops within a few years after exposure to silica dust and is characterized by rapid onset of dyspnea, cough, and weight loss. X-ray reveals a ground-glass appearance.

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