The fibre concentration and extent and severity of fibrosis have been analysed in 48 specimens from the left lung of a patient with asbestosis. Two different methods of fibre analysis were used. The results obtained by transmission electron microscopy were 2-2.5 times higher than those obtained by scanning electron microscopy. Low temperature ashed samples showed on average twice the number of fibres obtained after wet digestion of the samples. The transmission electron microscope detected considerably shorter fibres than the scanning electron microscope. Low temperature ashing produced also shorter fibres compared with the wet digestion procedure. A statistically significant correlation between fibre concentration and the grade of fibrosis was found only for low temperature ashed samples analysed in the transmission electron microscope. When dividing the lung into nine anatomical compartments and pooling the grade of fibrosis and the fibre concentration data within each compartment, an even better correlation was obtained.
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