Pulmonary Complications of Mustard Gas Exposure: A Study on Cadavers
Sulfur mustard gas is one of the chemical warfare gases that roughly about 45000 soldiers continue to suffer long-lasting consequences of exposure during the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988. According to the common pulmonary lesions due to this gas exposure, we studied gross and microscopic pulmonary lesions in cadavers and also assessed the main causes of mortality caused by mustard gas exposure. A case-series study was performed on hospital record files of 100 cadavers that were exposed with documented sulfur mustard gas during the Iran-Iraq war from 1979 to 1988 and autopsied in legal medicine organization In Tehran between 2005 and 2007 and gross and microscopic pathological findings of autopsied organs such as hematological, pulmonary, hepatic, and renal changes were evaluated. All cases were male with the mean age of 43 years. The time interval between the gas exposure and death was almost 20years. The most frequent pulmonary complication was chronic bronchitis in 81% of autopsied cadavers. Other pulmonary findings were progressive pulmonary fibrosis (9%), pulmonary infections and tuberculosis (29%), malignant cellular infiltration (4%), and aspergilloma (1%). According to the chronic progressive lesions caused by mustard gas exposure such as pulmonary lesions and also its high mortality rate, suitable programming for protection of the gas exposed persons and prohibiting chemical warfare are recommended.
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