Caplan syndrome is a pulmonary fibrosis in a people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have been exposed to a mining dusts (coal, silica, asbestos). It is named after Dr. Tony Caplan. Caplan syndrome is also known as rheumatoid lung silicosis, silicoarthritis and rheumatoid pneumoconiosis.
Inflammation leads to scarring of lung due to breathing of coal dust in persons with rheumatoid arthritis are the causes of Caplan syndrome.
Person with the Caplan syndrome have the symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, swelling and pain in the joints (in the morning), wheezing.
Caplan syndrome is diagnosed by taking complete history physical examination, lab tests and x-ray. X-ray shows multiple, round, well defined nodules, usually 0.5-2.0 cm in diameter. Lab tests shows Rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies positive with elevated ESR and CRP.
Pleural effusion, pulmonary nodules, pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arthritis are the differential diagnosis of Caplan syndrome.
There is no specific treatment for Caplan syndrome but all exposure to coal dust must be stopped, and smoking cessation should be done. If tuberculosis has been excluded, steroid is used. Rheumatoid arthritis should be treated early use of DMARDs (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug)
This blog post was originally published by AutoimmuneMom.com, written by Emedicinezone.com, and first published on May 9, 2010.
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