Fluoride Action Network


A prospective case-controlled study was performed to evaluate the gastrointestinal symptoms and mucosal abnormalities occurring in patients with osteofluorosis. Ten patients with documented osteofluorosis and ten age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were included in the study. Clinical evaluation, real-time ultrasound, and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy from the gastric antrum and duodenum were performed in all subjects. The biopsies were subjected to a rapid urease test and light and electron microscopic examinations. Ionic fluoride levels were estimated in the drinking water, serum, and urine using an ION 85 ion analyzer. All patients with osteofluorosis had gastrointestinal symptoms, the most common being abdominal pain. Endoscopic abnormalities were found in seven patients with osteofluorosis. In all 7 of these patients, chronic atrophic gastritis was seen on histology. Electron microscopic abnormalities were observed in all 10 patients with osteofluorosis. These included loss of microvilli, cracked-clay appearance, and the presence of surface abrasions on the mucosal cells. None of the control subjects had any clinical symptoms or mucosal abnormalities. It was concluded that gastrointestinal symptoms as well as mucosal abnormalities are common in patients with osteofluorosis.