Diffuse alveolar damage after exposure to an oil fly ash
Epidemiological investigation has established an association between exposure to particulate matter (PM) and both human mortality and diverse indices of human morbidity. However, attributing adverse health effects of specific individuals to PM exposure in these studies is not possible. Consequently, their clinical presentation remains ill-defined. We describe a 42-yr-old male with both respiratory damage, abnormal blood end points, and cardiac effects following an exposure to an emission source air pollution particle aersolized during the cleaning of his domestic oil-burning stove. Early symptoms of shortness of breath and wheezing progressed over 2 wk to hypoxic respiratory failure necessitating mechanical ventilation. Blood indices were abnormal. Thoracoscopic biopsy demonstrated particle-laden macrophages and diffuse alveolar damage. Symptomatic and objective improvement rapidly followed initiation of corticosteroids. He developed typical anginal symptoms within 2 wk of discharge; however, coronary angiography did not identify any significant narrowing of the epicardial coronary arteries. This patient presents with the aggregate of potential injuries described by epidemiological methods to be associated with air pollution particle exposure.
Ghio, AJ; Gilbey, JG; Roggli, VL; Richards, JH; McGee, JK; Carson, JL; Devlin, RB; Cascio, WE
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