A Current Example of Historical Cases: Occupational Pulmonary Aluminosis

Turk Thorac J. 2021 Jan;22(1):83-85. doi: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2021.19137. Epub 2021 Jan 1.


Pulmonary aluminosis (PA) is a rare form of pneumoconiosis caused by aluminum powders and vapors. Although the pathogenesis is not fully elucidated, it is thought to make a number of changes in the lungs, resulting in fibrosis. Our patient, who had cough, sputum, and dyspnea and had thorax computed tomography results showing reticular density changes and symmetrical ground-glass opacity in the bilateral upper and middle zones, informed us that he had worked in aluminum casting for 20 years and was exposed to iron, aluminum, and zinc vapors, and dust in the workplace. The patient was scheduled for bronchoscopy; aluminum analysis in bronchoalveolar lavage revealed 0.256 mg/kg of aluminum. The patient, with a history of occupational exposure, was diagnosed with aluminum metal fume-induced PA. This case shows that, even if it is preventable, PA can still occur if the occupational health and safety regulations are not met and also emphasizes the importance of the detailed occupational history in interstitial lung diseases.