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Singapore Med J. 2008 Jul;49(7):e168-70.

Talc granulomatosis mimicking sarcoidosis.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, New Delhi 110007, India.


Pulmonary disease due to talc, a group of hydrous magnesium silicates, is almost exclusively encountered secondary to occupational exposure or intravenous drug abuse. Talcosis or talc pneumoconiosis is one of the rarer forms of silicate-induced lung disease. It is seen in workers exposed during its production, and occasionally, in users of cosmetic talc and in intravenous drug addicts. Very often, the history of exposure is not recognised by the patient, and it is only the finding of granulomatous cellular interstitial lesions containing birefringent crystals which indicates considerable talc exposure. We report a 38-year-old woman who was initially diagnosed with sarcoidosis, until a bronchoscopic biopsy revealed the presence of numerous foreign body giant cells and birefringent particles forming non-caseating granulomas. There was no history of occupational exposure to talc or intravenous drug abuse. The patient responded to oral corticosteroid treatment. Talcosis is generally considered to be relatively benign.

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