Caplan’s syndrome

Below you will find more information about Caplan’s syndrome from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Caplan’s syndrome it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Caplan’s syndrome and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Caplan’s syndrome comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


It is also referred to as Caplan's disease it is a combined disease of rheumatoid arthritis and pneumoconiosis which shows as intrapulmonary nodules that appear homogenous and visible with the use of chest X-ray. Patients suffering from this disease have a scar and swelled lungs and they might have also been exposed to coal dust.


Chest radiology - reveals several, round, visible nodules, commonly 0.5-2.0 cm in diameter, that may cavitate and look like tuberculosis. Lung function tests - shows a combined restraining and disruptive ventilatory deficiency with a lung volume loss. Permanent airflow limitation may also happen and decreases gas transfer factor. Rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies and non-organ unambiguous antibodies - may also show on the serum. Asbestosis and silicosis - should be measured in the disparity with TB.

Symptoms and Signs

The known signs and symptoms of this disease are as follows: coughing and difficulty in breathing. Aside from the mentioned signs and symptoms, patients may also experience pain in the joints and morning stiffness. When a patient undergoes examination it will show that he has an inflamed MCP joints and rheumatoid nodules, chest auscultation may also show diffuse rales that cannot be removed on coughing or just by taking a deep breath.


The disease is usually acquired by miners particularly those who are working in anthracite coal-mines, asbestosis, silicosis and other pneumoconiosis. It might also be acquired genetically and it is said that smoking worsens the condition of the patient.

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