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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 37

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

Firefighting acutely increases airway responsiveness.
Sherman CB, Barnhart S, Miller MF, Segal MR, Aitken M, Schoene R, Daniell W, Rosenstock L
Am Rev Respir Dis. 1989;140(1):185.
The acute effects of the products of combustion and pyrolysis on airway responsiveness among firefighters are poorly documented. To study this relationship, spirometry and methacholine challenge testing (MCT) were performed on 18 active Seattle firefighters before and 5 to 24 h after firefighting. Body plethysmography was used to measure changes in specific airway conductance (SGaw), and results of MCT were analyzed using PD35-SGaw, the cumulative dose causing a 35% decrease in SGaw. Subjects who did not react by the end of the protocol were assigned a value of 640 inhalational units, the largest cumulative dose. Fire exposure was defined as the total time (hours) spent without a self-contained breathing apparatus at the firesite and was categorized as mild (less than 1 h, n = 7), moderate (1 to 2 h, n = 5), or severe (greater than 2 h, n = 6). Mean age of the 18 firefighters was 36.7 +/- 6.7 yr (range, 25 to 51), with a mean of 9.1 +/- 7.9 active years in the trade (range, zero to 22). None was known to be asthmatic. After firefighting, FEV1 % predicted (%pred) and FEF25-75 %pred significantly decreased by means of 3.4 +/- 1.1% and 5.6 +/- 2.6%, respectively. The mean decline in PD35-SGaw after firefighting was 184.5 +/- 53.2 units (p = 0.003). This observed decline in PD35-SGaw could not be explained by decrements in prechallenge SGaw, FEV1, or FVC.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.