Fluoride Action Network


Nine transiliac bone biopsies from 7 patients with skeletal fluorosis due to prolonged ingestion of often high quantities of Vichy Saint-Yorre water were analyzed. Four of these patients also suffered from a chronic renal failure. A histomorphometric study was possible in 8 out of the 9 biopsies. The measurement of bone fluoride content, and a microradiographic examination, were performed on all bone samples. The radiologically evident osteosclerosis observed in each patient was confirmed by the significant increase of trabecular bone volume. Furthermore, the osteoid surfaces were very extended but the thickness of osteoid seams was normal in 6 out of 8 cases. Two biopsies demonstrated a morphological evidence of osteomalacia with abnormally thick osteoid seams. Calcification rate, measured in one of these 2 cases after tetracycline double labeling, was extremely low (less than 0.20 micron/d). The bone fluoride content was significantly high in each specimen (greater than 0.40 bone ash%) and correlated with relative osteoid volume (r’ = 0.91) and thickness index of osteoid seams (r’ = 0.83). Histologically, bone tissue showed modifications classically reported in the various types of skeletal fluorosis (formation defects, mottled bone with mottled periosteocytic lacunae). In conclusion, the prolonged administration of Vichy Saint-Yorre water containing 8.5 mg of fluoride ion per liter, provokes a skeletal fluorosis. This intoxication appeared very quickly if the patient suffered from an even mild renal failure. Once again, it is shown that a disturbed renal function predisposes to an excessive retention of fluoride.