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Classification and external resources

ICD-10 J63.2
ICD-9 503
eMedicine med/222

Berylliosis, or chronic beryllium disease (CBD), is an occupational lung disease that is most classically associated with exposure to fluorescent lighting and missile silos. It is a chronic allergic-type lung response and chronic lung disease caused by exposure to beryllium and its compounds. The condition is incurable, but symptoms can be treated.[1]


With single or prolonged exposure by inhalation, the lungs become hypersensitive to beryllium causing the development of small inflammatory nodules, called granulomas.

Granulomas are seen in other chronic diseases, such as tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and it can occasionally be hard to distinguish berylliosis from these disorders.

Ultimately, this process leads to restrictive lung disease, a decreased diffusion capacity.

Clinically patients experience cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include chest pain, joint aches, weight loss and fever.

Rarely, one can get granulomas in other organs including the liver.

The onset of symptoms can range from weeks up to tens of years from the initial exposure. In some individuals a single exposure can cause berylliosis.


  1. ^ Dweik, Raed A (2008-11-19). "Berylliosis: Treatment & Medication". Medscape. Retrieved 2009-08-21.  

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