- Beryllium poisoning characterized by the occurrence of acute pneumonia or chronic interstitial granulomatous fibrosis, especially of the lungs, from inhalation of beryllium.
* * *be·ryl·li·o·sis bə-.ril-ē-'ō-səs also ber·yl·lo·sis .ber-ə-'lō- n, pl -li·o·ses -.sēz or -lo·ses -.sēz poisoning resulting from exposure to fumes and dusts of beryllium compounds or alloys and occurring chiefly as an acute pneumonitis or as a granulomatosis involving esp. the lungs
* * *n.poisoning by beryllium or its compounds, either by inhalation or by skin contamination. Inhalation of fumes from molten beryllium causes an acute alveolitis and is usually fatal. Subacute and chronic forms can result from extremely low levels of exposure to the powder and can produce granulomata in the skin or lungs very similar to those seen in sarcoidosis. In the lungs, these lead to fibrosis, which can, however, be prevented by prompt use of oral corticosteroids. Although the incidence of berylliosis has been greatly reduced since the use of beryllium compounds in the manufacture of fluorescent light tubes was discontinued in Britain in 1948, new cases are still occurring.
* * *be·ryl·li·o·sis (bə-ril″e-oґsis) [beryllium + -osis] a hypersensitivity response to beryllium, usually involving the lungs and less often the skin, subcutaneous tissues, lymph nodes, liver, or other structures. Beryllium fumes, its oxide and salts, and finely divided dust all may cause a tissue reaction when inhaled or implanted in the skin. Two varieties are distinguished: acute b. and chronic b. Called also beryllium poisoning.
Berylliosis. Posteroanterior chest radiograph demonstrates hilar adenopathy and extensive infiltrates.
Medical dictionary. 2011.