Caplan’s syndrome also known as caplan disease or rheumatoid pneumoconiosis is a combined disease condition including two diseases rheumatoid arthritis and pneumoconiosis that lead to formation of intrapulmonary nodules in lungs.
It is also defined as the swelling and scarring of the lungs in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis who have been exposed to mining dust containing coal. The lung disease is also known as coal workers pneumoconiosis.
Age/sex prevalence of caplan’s syndrome
Incidence is decreasing day by day due to decline of coal mining industry.
Individuals of any age or sex can be affected.
Individuals of any race can be affected by caplan’s syndrome.
Caplan’s syndrome is caused by inhaling dust in coal mining factories. This inhalation of dust causes inflammation and can lead to the development of many small lung lumps (nodules) and mild asthma-like airway disease.
People who have been exposed to the dust lead to severe scarring that makes it difficult for lungs to carry oxygen to the blood stream. This is known as progressive massive fibrosis.
• Shortness of breath
• Nodules on the skin
• Wheezing sounds in chest
• Pain and swelling of joints
Medical history of the patient and symptoms helps to diagnose. Along with history taking to confirm diagnosis following test are done
• X-ray joint
• Rheumatoid factor test
• Pulmonary function tests
• CT scan of chest
• X-ray chest
• Liver function tests
There is no specific treatment for caplan’s syndrome.
Caplan’s disease may remit spontaneously but fibrosis of lungs may progress with time.
• Medications given can cause side effects
• Progressive massive fibrosis or scarring
• Increased risk for tuberculosis can occur.
• Pulmonary fibrosis
• Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy