Tuberc Respir Dis.  2015 Oct;78(4):445-449. 10.4046/trd.2015.78.4.445.

Pulmonary Foreign Body Granulomatosis in Dental Technician

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. drterry@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Pathology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

Occupational lung diseases are caused by several toxic substances including heavy metals; however, the exact pathologic mechanisms remain unknown. In the workplace, dental technicians are often exposed to heavy metals such as cobalt, nickel, or beryllium and occasionally develop occupational lung diseases. We described a case of occupational lung disease in a patient who was employed as a dental technician for over a decade. A 31-year-old, non-smoking woman presented with productive cough and shortness of breath of several weeks duration. Chest computed tomography revealed a large number of scattered, bilateral small pulmonary nodules throughout the lung field, and multiple mediastinal lymph nodes enlargement. Percutaneous needle biopsy showed multifocal small granulomas with foreign body type giant cells suggestive of heavy metals inhalation. The patient's condition improved on simple avoidance strategy for several months. This case highlighted the importance of proper workplace safety.

Keyword

Lung Disease; Dental Technicians

MeSH Terms

Adult
Beryllium
Biopsy, Needle
Cobalt
Cough
Dental Technicians*
Dyspnea
Female
Foreign Bodies*
Giant Cells, Foreign-Body
Granuloma
Humans
Inhalation
Lung
Lung Diseases
Lymph Nodes
Metals, Heavy
Nickel
Thorax
Beryllium
Cobalt
Metals, Heavy
Nickel
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