Medline ® Abstracts for References 1,41,42

of 'Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome and irritant-induced asthma'

1
TI
Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS). Persistent asthma syndrome after high level irritant exposures.
AU
Brooks SM, Weiss MA, Bernstein IL
SO
Chest. 1985;88(3):376.
 
Ten individuals developed an asthma-like illness after a single exposure to high levels of an irritating vapor, fume, or smoke. In most instances, the high level exposure was the result of an accident occurring in the workplace or a situation where there was poor ventilation and limited air exchange in the area. In all cases, symptoms developed within a few hours and often minutes after exposure. We have designated the illness as reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS) because a consistent physiologic accompaniment was airways hyperreactivity. When tested, all subjects showed positive methacholine challenge tests. No documented preexisting respiratory illness was identified nor did subjects relate past respiratory complaints. In two subjects, atopy was documented, but in all others, no evidence of allergy was identified. In the majority of the cases, there was persistence of respiratory symptoms and continuation of airways hyperreactivity for more than one year and often several years after the incident. The incriminated etiologic agent varied, but all shared a common characteristic of being irritant in nature. In two cases, bronchial biopsy specimens were available, and an airways inflammatory response was noted. This investigation suggests acute high level, uncontrolled irritant exposures may cause an asthma-like syndrome in some individuals which is different from typical occupational asthma. It can lead to long-term sequelae and chronic airways disease. Nonimmunologic mechanisms seem operative in the pathogenesis of this syndrome.
AD
PMID
41
TI
Persistent asthma after repeated exposure to high concentrations of gases in pulpmills.
AU
Chang-Yeung M, Lam S, Kennedy SM, Frew AJ
SO
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994;149(6):1676.
 
This is a clinicopathologic study of three subjects with irritant-induced asthma. They were pulpmill workers who had a history of multiple "gassing" episodes that occurred over a period of years. Persistent symptoms of asthma and nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness and/or variable airflow obstruction occurred after at least one episode of "gassing," resulting in symptoms severe enough to require emergency room treatment. One of the three subjects had normal spirometry values before he entered the pulpmill. Bronchial biopsy done on these subjects showed changes compatible with asthma, including thickened basement membrane in two and cellular infiltration with activated eosinophils and mononuclear cells in all three. The results of immunohistology of bronchial mucosal biopsy of these subjects were compared with those of patients with allergic asthma and patients with Western red cedar-induced asthma. Subjects with irritant-induced asthma had a greater density of activated eosinophils and fewer T-lymphocytes, suggesting that cell-mediated immune mechanisms are not involved in the pathogenesis of this condition.
AD
Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital, Canada.
PMID
42
TI
Is reactive airways dysfunction syndrome a variant of occupational asthma?
AU
Gautrin D, Boulet LP, Boutet M, Dugas M, Bhérer L, L'Archevêque J, Laviolette M, CôtéJ, Malo JL
SO
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1994;93(1 Pt 1):12.
 
BACKGROUND: Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS) or irritant-induced asthma is a syndrome that leaves subjects with asthma-like symptoms after one or more exposures to a high concentration of an irritant substance. The degree of reversibility of airway obstruction in subjects with RADS is nevertheless unknown, as is the degree of associated lesions at the airway level.
METHODS: We compared the acute reversibility of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after inhalation of albuterol (200 micrograms) in 15 subjects with RADS (12 cases caused by chlorine inhalation) with that of 30 subjects with occupational asthma (OA) caused by various agents. They were paired according to baseline airway obstruction (61% and 63% of predicted value in the RADS and OA groups), requirement for medication (bronchodilator only--7 of 15 subjects with RADS and 14 of 30 subjects with OA--as compared with bronchodilator + inhaled steroids in 8 of 15 subjects with RADS and 16 of 30 subjects with OA, respectively), and interval since removal from exposure (means of 30 and 24 months in the RADS and OA groups). In addition, five nonsmokers with RADS who had not received inhaled steroids underwent bronchoscopy with lavage and bronchial biopsies less than 2 years after the exposure.
RESULTS: The percentage increase in FEV1 over baseline after inhalation of albuterol was 10% +/- 9% in the RADS group and 19% +/- 16% in the OA group (p = 0.005). Only 2 of 15 subjects (13%) with RADS and 12 of 30 subjects (40%) with OA showed an improvement in FEV1 of 20% or greater after inhalation of albuterol. Bronchoalveolar lavage showed an increased number of cells with a predominance of lymphocytes, and biopsy specimens showed increased basement membrane thickness in the five subjects with RADS who underwent bronchoscopy.
CONCLUSION: Subjects with RADS are generally left with less airway reversibility than those with OA. We suggest that this difference is secondary to distinct pathologic changes.
AD
Department of Chest Medicine, Sacré-Coeur Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
PMID