It is well documented that inhalation of sulfur mustard causes injury of the respiratory system. While all of the reports and surveys thoroughly document long-term pulmonary effects after significant exposure to mustard, there is no direct evidence that addresses the issue of long-term respiratory effects in individuals who were exposed to very low level of mustard and suffered no acute respiratory tract injury. The aim of this study is to evaluate the MCT findings in the veteran claiming exposure to CWA during Iran-Iraq war.
We studied 395 subjects which were selected among all those who were in chemically contaminated areas with chemical warfare agents (CWA) and had been registered for an annual checkup. Background data were collected. All subjects underwent diagnostic bronchoscopy and biopsy which was performed by one specialist. In all patients MCT, according to ATS guidelines, performed.
Subjects were 395 men with the mean age of 41.46 (SD, 5.43) years which exposed to CWA averagely 18.7 (SD, 1.74) years ago. 132 patients (33.3%) had positive MCT. Results of MCT did not relate to the cigarette smoking (p=0.82), length time after exposure (p=0.88), age (p=0.36), bronchospic findings (p=0.36) and the presence of interstitial fibrosis (p=0.71). Kappa coefficient of the results of bronchoscopy and MCT in determining patients with airway disorders was not significant (p=0.36).
This study shows that a major proportion (33%) of patients exposed CWA show airway hypersensitivity in their MCT which does not relate to any underlying factor, though it is not a diagnostic finding. In addition the results of bronchoscopy and MCT are not in concordance with each other.
About one third of patients exposed CWA show airway sensitivity.
Abbas Nemati, None.