Serum angiotensin converting enzyme elevation in association with artificial stone silicosis

R. F. Hoy, J. Hansen, D. C. Glass, C. Dimitriadis, F. Hore-Lacy, M. R. Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Silicosis is a rapidly emerging major health concern for workers in the artificial stone benchtop industry. The association between serum angiotensin converting enzyme (sACE) levels and artificial stone silicosis is unknown. Methods: We investigated 179 male workers (median age 40 years, interquartile range (IQR) 33–48 years) from the stone benchtop industry in Victoria, Australia. All had worked in an environment where dry processing of artificial stone had occurred and were registered with the Victorian Silica-associated Disease Registry between June 2019 and August 2020. Workers had undergone protocolised assessments including respiratory function testing, high resolution CT chest and blood tests panel, including sACE. Findings: Sixty workers with artificial stone silicosis were identified and they had a higher median sACE level (64.1 U/L, IQR 51.5, 87.5), compared to 119 without silicosis (35.0 U/L, IQR 25.0, 47.0). Compared to those with a normal assessment, regression modelling noted significantly higher average differences in sACE levels for workers with lymphadenopathy alone (12.1 U/L, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3, 22.9), simple silicosis (28.7 U/L, 95% CI: 21.3, 36.0) and complicated silicosis (36.0 U/L, 95% CI 25.2, 46.9). There was a small negative association with gas transfer, but no associations with exposure duration or spirometry. Conclusion: sACE levels were noted to be higher in artificial stone workers with silicosis compared to those without disease and was highest in those with complicated silicosis. Longitudinal follow up is required to evaluate sACE as a prognostic biomarker for workers with this rapidly emerging occupational lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106289
Number of pages3
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Cite this