Chalk-induced Lung Fibrosis — Case Report

DOI: 10.1515/jim-2017-0089


Introduction: Our article underlines the importance of a good professional anamnesis, knowing all the chemical components with which the patient had been exposed to during her active life as a teacher. Case presentation: A 64-year-old female patient, teacher for 27 years, who had been retired for six years, presented cough with white phlegm and shortness of breath occurring during physical exertion, diffuse thoracic pain, and fatigue. Several lung functional tests were performed, which established the diagnosis of irreversible minor mixed ventilatory dysfunction. In order to establish the etiology of the patient’s symptoms, multiple clinical, laboratory, imaging, and functional investigations were performed including a chest radiograph, pulmonary functional testing, bronchial reversibility testing, a thoracic CT scan, fibrobronchoscopy, alveolar-capillary diffusion capacity measurement, otorhinolaryngology examination, thyroid ultrasound, as well as a cardiological consult. Finally, a positive diagnosis was established: bronchial hyperreactivity syndrome, chalk dust-induced diffuse pulmonary fibrosis. Conclusion: An essential part of clinical practice is a proper anamnesis, including detailed information on the professional history and exposure, as well as the composition of the dust/particles with which the patient had been in contact with.