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Other namesFlint disease

Chalicosis is a form of pneumoconiosis affecting the lungs or bronchioles, found mainly among stonecutters.[1] The disease is caused by the inhalation of fine particles of stone.[2] The term is from Greek, χάλιξ, gravel.

Risk factors[edit]

Occupations with significant exposure to stone dust are at an increased risk of chalicosis include:

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Signs and symptoms of chalicosis are slow to develop and thus patients may not show signs of incapacity until years after exposure.[4] It may even take up to 10 years before manifestations of the disorder are present.[3] Signs and symptoms include:

Treatment and Prevention[edit]

There is no definitive cure for chalicosis,[5] nor is there a specific targeted therapy.[3] Current treatment of this lung disorder primarily involves managing respiratory symptoms, associated comorbidities, and complications, with the overarching goal of enhancing the patient's quality of life.[5][3] These include:

Acute pharmacotherapies[edit]

  • Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that can be used for acute management of chalicotic symptoms.[3][5]They are not recommended for chronic management.[3]

Chronic pharmacotherapies[edit]

  • Whole lung lavage uses saline solution to wash out lodged particles in the lungs.[5]
  • Bronchodilators dilate the bronchi and bronchioles to increase airflow to the lungs.[5][3]
  • Oxygen therapy or supplemental oxygen is a medical treatment that provides extra oxygen, often to prevent complications of chronic hypoxemia.[3][5]
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation is a therapeutic concept which utilizes a series of services to aid improved breathing.[5]
  • Antifibrotics.[3]
  • Smoking cessation.[3]
  • Lung transplantation is a last resort in which one lung, both, or damaged lung tissue are replaced with a donor during a surgical procedure.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Betts, Wm. Winthrop (1900-01-13). "Chalicosis Pulmonum or Chronic Interstitial Pneumonia Induced by Stone Dust". JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. XXXIV (2): 70. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610020006002a. ISSN 0098-7484.
  2. ^ "The Free Medical Dictionary:chalicosis".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Chalicosis". wikidoc. November 19, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Fine, M. James; Jaso, James V. (January 5, 1935). "Silicosis and primary carcinoma of the bronchus". JAMA. 104 (1): 40–43. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760010042008.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Kerkar, Pramod (October 4, 2014). "Chalicosis or Flint's Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention". Epainassist - Useful Information for Better Health. Retrieved January 22, 2024.

External links[edit]