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Inhaled Heroin-Induced Status Asthmaticus*: Five Cases and a Review of the Literature

James Cygan, MD; Matthew Trunsky, MD; Thomas Corbridge, MD, FCCP
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*From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL.

Correspondence to: Thomas Corbridge, MD, FCCP, 300 East Superior, Tarry 14-707, Chicago, IL 60611; e-mail: tcc734@nwu.edu



Chest. 2000;117(1):272-275. doi:10.1378/chest.117.1.272
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We report five cases of status asthmaticus (four requiring mechanical ventilation) that were triggered by inhaled heroin and review the pertinent literature. These cases share common features of sudden and severe asthma exacerbations temporally related to heroin use, stress the importance of considering illicit drug use in like cases, and call attention to a public health issue.


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