Acute silicosis is rare. It develops after a brief, heavy exposure to fine silica dust with a latency period of several months. In the past the condition was observed among sandblasters and workers who tunneled through hard rock without respiratory protection. Radiographically, acute silicosis resembles alveolar proteinosis with ground glass opacities. Patients with acute silicosis rapidly deteriorate into respiratory insufficiency. [Harber, p. 382-383] [LaDou, p. 378-80] See "Silicosis, complicated" and "Silicosis, simple."