A 40-year-old female dental technician visited our hospital for the investigation of a chest X-ray abnormality. Chest computed tomography demonstrated centrilobular nodules and lung volume reduction, and her serum KL-6 level was elevated. A histological analysis of the specimens obtained on a surgical lung biopsy showed peribronchiolar fibrosis with pigmented macrophages and cholesterol clefts. An energy-dispersive X-ray analysis showed that these lung tissues contained some metals, including indium. The serum indium level was also elevated. We diagnosed this patient with pneumoconiosis caused by exposure to sandblasting certain dental metals. This is the first reported case of pneumoconiosis in a dental technician associated with exposure to indium.
Keywords: dental technician; indium; pneumoconiosis.