Rare Case of Diffuse Skeletal Fluorosis Due to Inhalant Abuse of Difluoroethane

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Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.Global research & reviews


Case: We present a rare case of diffuse skeletal fluorosis in a 56-year-old man with a history of inhalation and topical abuse of aerosolized dust cleaner containing difluoroethane and prior industrial exposure to chlorofluorocarbon-rich organic solvent cleaners. This patient had diffuse osteosclerotic bone disease on radiographs that elicited concern for a potentially aggressive physiologic or pathologic process, until increased fluoremia was identified as the cause. Management was conservative with removal of the causative agent. Conclusion: Skeletal fluorosis is an osteosclerotic bone disease caused by excessive ingestion of fluoride. Although this pathology is endemic in some parts of the world where drinking water contains high levels of fluoride, it should be considered as a differential diagnosis for patients with characteristic radiographic findings and a history of inhalant abuse. Chronic exposure to chlorofluorocarbon-rich products should also be considered.

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