Fluoride Action Network


The major part of fluoride ingested is fixed on calcified tissues, mainly in bone tissue, and then is progressively but slowly recycled during bone remodeling. Thus, the measurement of bone fluoride content allows the determination of the extent of bone fluoride retention, and this parameter constitutes a useful complement to bone histology for the diagnosis of skeletal fluorosis and could also be used for the management of fluoride treatment of osteoporosis. A simple method is described to measure the fluoride content in calcined human iliac bone samples. Bone ashes were diluted in perchloric acid, and the measurement of the bone fluoride content was performed using a specific ion electrode combined with a reference electrode. Reference values are given for bone tissue from 76 control subjects (0.08 +/- 0.05% of bone ash), from two groups of 117 and 102 untreated osteoporotic patients (0.05 +/- 0.03% and 0.08 +/- 0.05%, respectively), from 166 sodium fluoride-treated osteoporotic patients (mean bone fluoride content varying from 0.24 to 0.67%, depending on the duration of therapy), and from 96 patients showing typical skeletal fluorosis (mean bone fluoride content varying from 0.56 to 1.33%, depending on the etiology of fluorosis and the relationship with the amount of fluoride ingested as well as with the duration of fluoride exposure). During a prolonged exposure of adult bone tissue to fluoride, the early bone fluoride uptake is variable and depends on the remodeling activity; then it increases rapidly before becoming more or less stable at a maximum level.