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Intern Med. 2014;53(2):139-43. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Hard metal lung disease diagnosed on a transbronchial lung biopsy following recurrent contact dermatitis.

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  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Osaka Red Cross Hospital, Japan.


A 63-year-old man employed in a hard metal manufacturing company for 40 years presented with a chronic dry cough and exertional dyspnea 20 years after the onset of recurrent exanthemas. A chest radiograph revealed bilateral reticular shadows in the upper lung field. Pathological specimens in which tungsten was detected were obtained via a transbronchial lung biopsy. Patch tests were positive for cobalt and other metals. The patient was diagnosed with hard metal lung disease (HMLD) concurrent with contact dermatitis and treated with corticosteroids. This case suggests that allergies to metal may play a role in the onset of HMLD.

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