Complicated Silicotuberculosis in a South African Gold Miner: A Case Report


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Abstract

We present a case of complicated silicotuberculosis in a former gold miner with a sufficiently heavy silica dust exposure to cause International Labor Organization grade 2/2 silicosis after a cumulative exposure duration of 11 years. We describe a cascade of complications—active pulmonary tuberculosis despite recent isoniazid prophylactic therapy, non-tuberculous mycobacterial disease, chronic airways obstruction, and spontaneous pneumothorax—and the difficulties, which arose, in diagnosis and management of such combined disease. We highlight three implications of such cases: the need to understand the interaction of silicosis and tuberculosis in this setting, the importance of maintaining continuity of care in the management of these conditions in miners and former miners, and control of silica dust exposure as a primary form of prevention of tuberculosis. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:697–701, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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