Silicosis is a typical occupational respiratory disease characterized by irreversible alterations throughout the alveolar and interstitial structure. The objectives of this study were (1) investigate the potential of the Forced Oscillation Technique (FOT) in the analysis of the patients with silicosis, and (2) evaluate the ability of FOT to identify early alterations in the respiratory mechanics of these patients. Sixty-one volunteers were analyzed: 20 healthy subjects and 41 with silicosis; these, were divided into 4 groups according to spirometric results: normal spirometric exam (n = 11); mild obstruction (n = 20); moderate and severe obstruction (n = 10.). A significant (p〈0.0001) increase in total resistance (R0) and mean resistance (Rm) were observed, as well as a decrease in the dynamic compliance (p〈0.0003) and mean reactance (p〈0.000004). R0 and Rm obtained adequate accuracy for clinical use (>80%). FOT parameters adequately described the pathophysiological changes associated with silicosis and presented adequate accuracy for clinical use, indicating that this technique can be helpful in the evaluation respiratory mechanics in this disease.
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