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Nihon Kokyuki Gakkai Zasshi. 2006 Mar;44(3):192-6.

[A case of volcanic ash lung: report of a case].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Department of Respiratory Medicine of Japanese Red Cross Medical Center.


A 57-year-old woman inhaled much volcanic ash without using a mask every day during the eruption of the Miyake Volcano in August 2000. An abnormal shadow was pointed out on her chest radiography by chance, after she sought refuge in Higashimurayama city in September. She had no respiratory symptoms and her chest radiography in an annual health check in July 2000 had showed no abnormality. She was admitted to our hospital and thoracoscopic lung biopsy was performed. We diagnosed it as lung inflammation caused by volcanic ash. The reasons for diagnosis were because the abnormal shadow appeared after the inhalation of volcanic ash, chest computed tomography showed diffuse irregular shadows with air bronchogram, thoracoscopic lung biopsy showed cellular-bronchiolitis around crystals, and the results of mineralogical analysis of the particles in alveolar macrophages detected in the biopsy specimen by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were very similar to those of volcanic ash. The shadow on her chest radiography disappeared gradually without any treatment, but she avoided further exposure to volcanic ash. It is necessary to consider volcanic ash capable of causing lung inflammation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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