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Ultrastruct Pathol. 2003 Mar-Apr;27(2):127-9.

Titanium particles identified by energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis within the lungs of a painter at autopsy.

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Department of Pathology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36617, USA.


A 72-year-old male painter, who complained of his "lungs burning" for 2 weeks, died suddenly. Autopsy examination revealed severe coronary atherosclerosis with plaque rupture as the cause of death. Examination of the lungs revealed emphysema, interstitial fibrosis, and multinucleated giant cells with intra- and extracellular brown-black, crystalline, polarizable foreign material. Energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis showed the material to contain titanium, aluminum, silicon, and iron. An increased incidence of respiratory disease has been reported in professional painters. Titanium is widely used as a pigment in the manufacturing of commercial paints. Cases of pneumoconiosis and alveolar proteinosis have been described in painters in which analysis of lung tissue revealed increased levels of titanium. This case is presented as an example of a rarely reported phenomenon, which may have clinical implications for evaluation and management of lung disease in painters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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