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Asbestosis H003

Last amended 
24 June 2015

In this section

Current RMA Instruments:
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
55 of 2013
Balance of Probabilities SOP
56 of 2013
Changes from Previous Instruments:



ICD Coding:
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 501
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: J61

Asbestosis is scarring of the lungs due to the inhalation of large quantities of airborne asbestos fibres over a long period.  It is a type of fibrosing interstitial lung disease, but is covered by a stand alone SOP.  See further comments below.

Is specific diagnostic evidence required to apply the SOP? – Yes.

The diagnosis of asbestosis needs to be made by a specialist respiratory or general physician.  High resolution CT / MRI scanning or lung biopsy is usually required.

Are there sub-factors that require specific information? – No.
Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Nil
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • fibrosing alveolitis, ICD code 516.3
  • fibrosing interstitial lung disease, ICD code 516.3
  • mesothelioma, ICD code 158.8
  • pleural plaque, ICD code 511.0
  • pulmonary fibrosis, ICD code 516.3
Unconfirmed diagnosis

If, after considering the above information you are unable to apply the SOP, you should then:

  1. seek medical officer advice about further investigation, or;
  2. generate a diagnostic report, or;
  3. re-encode the condition, if appropriate.

The following investigations may be useful in establishing the diagnosis.

  • Report from a respiratory physician

If the diagnosis of asbestosis is established by the demonstration of asbestos bodies in the lung on histology, or based on a convincing history of heavy inhalational asbestos exposure, then this SOP applies.  If fibrosing interstitial lung disease is present, but a diagnosis of asbestosis cannot be confirmed, then the fibrosing interstitial lung disease SOP applies.  That SOP has factors for asbestos exposure, so effectively, asbestos-related fibrosing interstitial lung disease is covered by both SOPs.