Occupational Asthma Reference

Vandenplas O, Dressel H, Nowak D, Jamart J on behalf of the ERS Task Force on the Management of Work-related Asthma, What is the optimal management option for occupational asthma?, Eur Respir Rev, 2012;21:125-139,

Keywords: review, ERS, guidelines, ocupational asthma, management, RPE, exposure reduction

Known Authors

Olivier Vandenplas, Universite Mont-Goginne, Yvoir Olivier Vandenplas

Dennis Nowak, Institute fur Arbeits, Munich Dennis Nowak

Holger Dressel, Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Munich Holger Dressel

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The optimal management of occupational asthma remains uncertain in clinical
practice. The aim of this review was to analyse the published information pertaining to the management of occupational asthma in order to produce evidence-based statements and recommendations. A systematic literature search was conducted up to March 2010 to identify original studies
addressing the following different treatment options: 1) persistence of exposure; 2) pharmacological treatment; 3) complete avoidance of exposure; 4) reduction of exposure; and 5) the use of personal protective equipment.
After full text evaluation of 83 potentially relevant articles, 52 studies were retained for analysis.
The conclusions from this systematic review are limited by the methodological weaknesses of most published studies. Critical analysis of available evidence indicates that:
1) persistent exposure to the causal agent is more likely to result in asthma worsening than complete avoidance;
2) there is insufficient evidence to determine whether pharmacological treatment can alter the course of asthma in subjects who remain exposed; 3) avoidance of exposure leads to recovery of asthma in less than one-third of affected workers;
4) reduction of exposure seems to be less beneficial than complete avoidance of exposure;
5) personal respiratory equipment does not provide complete protection.

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