Occupational Asthma Reference

Cloutier Y, Lagier F, Cartier A, Malo JL, Validation of an exposure system to particles for the diagnosis of occupational asthma, Chest, 1992;102:402-407,

Keywords: oa, methods, ch, flour, grain, cedar, psyllium, guar gum

Known Authors

André Cartier, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada André Cartier

Jean-Luc Malo, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Jean-Luc Malo

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We previously described a closed-circuit system for exposure to particles in humans. This system has three components: a particle generator, an exposure chamber connected to an orofacial mask, and monitors. We describe results of challenges in 56 subjects who underwent challenges with the apparatus using occupational sensitizers in particles.

Fifty-six consecutive subjects referred for the investigation of occupational asthma to occupational sensitizers in particles were included. The agents were the following: flour and grains (n = 19), cedar (n = 10), psyllium (n = 9), guar gum (n = 9), drugs (n = 3), persulfate (n = 2), and miscellaneous (n = 4).

The duration of exposure was progressive and varied from one breath to a maximum of 180 min depending on the reaction. When no significant fall in FEV1 occurred after exposure with the aerosolization device, the standard approach of tipping particles from one tray to another was used.

Twenty-nine subjects (52 percent) had a significant (greater than or equal to 20 percent) fall in FEV1 after exposure. This includes 18 subjects with isolated immediate reactions, four with dual asthmatic reactions, and two with atypical reactions. In 20/24 instances (83 percent), the percentage of fall in FEV1 did not exceed 30 percent, thus showing that dose-response curves can generally be obtained in a safe way. In all instances except one (26/27 cases), subsequent exposures using the traditional method did not result in significant falls in FEV1.

This new procedure results in safe tests in terms of the percentage of changes in FEV1 during the immediate reactions and very rare false-negative challenges

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