[Screening of occupational exposure to asbestos and silica by job-exposure matrix among patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma].

Revue des Maladies Respiratoires 2019 November 11 [Link]

Lorentz E, Despreaux T, Quignette A, Chinet T, Descatha A



In the context of underreporting of occupational diseases, the aim was to study the validity of silica and asbestos job-exposure matrices in screening occupational exposure in the field of thoracic oncology.


Fifty patients hospitalized with primitive lung cancer or mesothelioma in a university hospital center in the Hauts-de-Seine department of France were included between November 2016 and September 2017. For each patient 1/the job history was collected, from which data was entered single-blindly into the job-exposure matrices by a resident in occupational medicine, 2/a questionnaire (Q-SPLF) was completed similarly, and 3/the patients also had a consultation with a chief resident in occupational medicine, considered the gold standard. The main outcome was the diagnostic performance of the matrices. The Q-SPLF diagnostic performance was also studied.


The asbestos and silica matrices had sensitivities of 100%, specificities of respectively 76.1% and 87.8%, the positive likelihood ratios were at 4.19 [2.5-6] and 8.17 [3.8-10], and the negative likelihood ratios were at 0. The Q-SPLF diagnostic performance was comparable to that of the matrices.


The matrices and the questionnaire have a great diagnostic performance which seems interesting for a use as a screening tool for occupational exposures. These results have yet to be confirmed by large-scale studies.