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Editorials |

Wind-Instruments Lung: A Foul Note

Yvon Cormier, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Université Laval, Medecine.

Correspondence to: Yvon Cormier, MD, Université Laval, Medecine, 2625 Chemin Ste Foy, Quebec City, QC, G0A 2R0, Canada; e-mail: yvon.cormier@med.ulaval.ca


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2010 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2010;138(3):467-468. doi:10.1378/chest.10-0868
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Metzger et al1 (see page 724) and Metersky et al2 (see page 754) are to be complimented for their very interesting and important clinical observations and their insight for analyzing the microbial flora of musical instruments of the index cases and that of other similar musical instruments. To play a wind instrument, such as a saxophone or a trombone, one needs good lungs. As described in the above-mentioned articles in this issue of CHEST, these instruments themselves can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a respiratory problem that will decrease lung function, making it impossible for the musician to continue playing. Because the best treatment of HP is contact avoidance, one could assume that a player with this problem would be forced, by the nature of the instrument and of the disease, to apply the treatment without knowing it. This scenario was described in the report of Lodha and Sharma3 in 1988, in which they relate the case of a saxophonist with “sax lung” who would temporarily stop playing and have his breathing improve spontaneously, and thus never consult a doctor.

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lung ; wind

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