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A Case of Hut LungHut Lung: Scanning Electron Microscopy With Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy Analysis of a Domestically Acquired Form of Pneumoconiosis

Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, MD; Manmeet Gujral, MD; Jerrold L. Abraham, MD; Ernest M. Scalzetti, MD; Michael C. Iannuzzi, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Pathology (Drs Mukhopadhyay and Abraham), the Department of Pulmonary Medicine (Drs Gujral and Iannuzzi), and the Department of Radiology (Dr Scalzetti), State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY.

Correspondence to: Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, MD, Department of Pathology, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, 750 E Adams St, Syracuse, NY 13210; e-mail: mukhopas@upstate.edu


Funding/Support: This work was funded by the Department of Pathology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR).

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;144(1):323-327. doi:10.1378/chest.12-2085
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Hut lung is a pneumoconiosis caused by exposure to smoke derived from biomass fuels used for cooking in poorly ventilated huts. We report, to our knowledge, the first analysis of the dust deposited in the lungs in hut lung by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS). A Bhutanese woman presented with shortness of breath and an abnormal chest radiograph. Chest CT scan showed innumerable tiny bilateral upper lobe centrilobular nodules. Transbronchial biopsy revealed mild interstitial fibrosis with heavy interstitial deposition of black dust. SEM/EDS showed that the dust was carbonaceous, with smaller yet substantial numbers of silica and silicate particles. Additional history revealed use of a wood/coal-fueled stove in a small, poorly ventilated hut for 45 years. The possibility of hut lung should be considered in women from countries where use of biomass-fueled stoves for cooking is common. Our findings support the classification of this condition as a mixed-dust pneumoconiosis.

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