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 Pulmonary Pathology Online

Pathology of Talc Pneumoconiosis (Talcosis)

Dr Sampurna Roy MD      




Talcs are fibrous silicates used in a number of industries and in cosmetic talc.

In addition to chronic inhalation, intravenous drug use is a major source of talc-related lung diseases.

As talc is used as filling material in tablets, intravenous abuse of drugs intended for oral application causes deposition of the mineral in various organs, specially in the lungs.

Substances such as heroin are often adulterated to increase volume and weight for which talc is often used.

Inhalation of talc results in foreign body granulomas throughout the lung and in interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.

Platelike crystals are readily identifiable in the granulomas.

According to one study the authors suggested that talc granulomatosis should be added to the list of granulomatous disorders capable of causing hypercalcemia due to increased extra-renal 1-alpha-hydroxylation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

Visit: Foreign body granuloma of skin ; Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis ; Usual Interstitial Pneumonia (UIP); Non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) ; Desquamative interstitial pneumonia (DIP) ; Respiratory bronchiolitis-interstitial lung disease (RBILD) ;Acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP)/organizing diffuse alveolar damage DAD); Lymphocytic Interstitial Pneumonia / Follicular Bronchiolitis.

Further reading:

Talc pneumoconiosis: a pathologic and mineralogic study.

Inhalational talc pneumoconiosis: radiographic and CT findings in 14 patients.

Talcum induced pneumoconiosis following inhalation of adulterated marijuana, a case report.

Pulmonary talcosis with intravenous drug abuse.

Talc asbestosis and pulmonary tuberculosis in a patient exposed to the talc used in the production of soccer balls.

Talc asbestosis and pulmonary tuberculosis in a patient exposed to the talc used in the production of soccer balls

Hypercalcemia due to talc granulomatosis.

Munchausen syndrome presenting as pulmonary talcosis.

Interstitial lung disease more than 40 years after a 5 year occupational exposure to talc.

Atypical mycobacteriosis as a complication of talc pneumoconiosis.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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