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Horse rug lung: toxic pneumonitis due to fluorocarbon inhalation
  1. G M F Wallace1,
  2. P H Brown2
  1. 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, UK
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Perth Royal Infirmary, Perth, Scotland, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr G M F Wallace
 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, UK;


Fluorocarbons are widely used in industry, and manifestations of inhalation toxicity include polymer fume fever, reactive airways dysfunction, and bronchospasm. Only seven cases of alveolitis occurring acutely after inhalation have been reported. This paper presents four cases of toxic pneumonitis due to direct inhalation of industrial fluorocarbon used as a waterproofing spray for horse rugs. These cases differ from previous reports and show that chronic as well as acute alveolitis can result from fluorocarbon inhalation. Corticosteroid treatment may be beneficial. The need for stricter control in the workplace is emphasised.

  • CT, computed tomography
  • DLCO, diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide
  • FEV1, forced expiratory volume in one second
  • FVC, forced vital capacity
  • Ig, immunoglobulin
  • RV, residual volume
  • TLC, total lung capacity
  • fluorocarbons
  • pneumonitis

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  • Competing interests: none