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Nucl Med Commun. 1993 May;14(5):384-90.

Skeletal scintigraphic findings in endemic skeletal fluorosis.

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  • 1Department of Medical Endocrinology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.


Endemic skeletal fluorosis is characterized by bone, joint and muscle pain, progressive ankylosis of various joints and crippling deformities. Whole body skeletal scintigraphy with 99Tcm-methylene diphosphonate was performed for 17 symptomatic subjects suffering from this disorder. The fluoride content of drinking water ranged from 4.1 to 12.9 mg l-1 (normal < 1 mg l-1). Urinary and serum fluoride levels were markedly elevated. Serum calcium (total and ionized), inorganic phosphorus, creatinine and albumin were essentially normal while serum alkaline phosphatase was elevated in six subjects (mean +/- S.D. 206 +/- 106; range 22-1072 IU l-1). Skeletal radiology revealed a wide spectrum of bony abnormalities. Skeletal scintigraphy revealed a picture similar to metabolic 'superscan' in all subjects, i.e. increased tracer uptake in axial and appendicular skeleton, reduced soft tissue uptake, poor or absent renal images, prominent costochondral junction and 'tie' sign in sternum. Increased uptake was present in all subjects irrespective of age, water fluoride content, serum alkaline phosphatase level and radiological abnormalities. Our findings suggest the presence of a high bone turnover state in endemic skeletal fluorosis irrespective of other variables.

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