Occupational Asthma Reference

Renstrom A, Malmberg P, Larsson K, Larsson PH, Sundblad BM, Allergic sensitization is associated with increased bronchial responsiveness: a prospective study of allergy to laboratory animals, Eur Respir J, 1995;8:1514-1519,

Keywords: Sweden, laboratory animal, animal, br, laboratory technician, ls, key

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Kjell Larsson, Karolinska Institute of Environmental Medicine Kjell Larsson

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The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the extent of change in bronchial responsiveness and the prognostic value of methacholine provocation in early sensitization to laboratory animals. Thirty eight laboratory technicians were studied during training (before first exposure) and after having been exposed to laboratory animals for a median 18 (range 5-33) months. On both occasions they were subjected to spirometry, bronchial methacholine challenge, skin-prick tests and blood sampling, and responded to questionnaires. Nine (24%) developed laboratory animal allergy (LAA), defined as animal work-related symptoms (n = 8), or specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) (n = 7) or both. In the LAA group, bronchial responsiveness was normal before employment, but had increased significantly at follow-up compared to technicians who had not developed LAA. Six of the nine LAA subjects had a more than threefold increase in bronchial responsiveness, and three of these reported chest symptoms. Spirometric values were not different between the groups prior to exposure or at follow-up, and had no prognostic value. However, a pre-employment level of total IgE > 100 kU.L-1 predicted the development of LAA (relative risk 2.8). Thus, early LAA was associated with increased bronchial responsiveness in most subjects. In contrast to total IgE, the level of pre-employment bronchial responsiveness or lung function did not influence the magnitude of change in responsiveness, nor predict sensitization

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