Clinical, High Resolution Computed Tomography and Pulmonary Function in Sulphur Mustard Victims
We aimed to evaluate clinical, high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and pulmonary function test (PFT) findings after 18-23 years of exposure in veterans of sulphur mustard (SM) exposure. We performed a cross-sectional study of 106 patients. Inclusion criteria were 1: documented exposure to SM as confirmed by toxicological analysis of their urine and vesicular fluid after exposure 2: single exposure to SM that cause skin blisters and subsequent transient or permanent sequel. Cigarette smoking and pre-exposure lung diseases were of exclusion criteria. After taking history and thorough respiratory examination, patients underwent high resolution computed tomography and spirometry. Clinical diagnoses were made considering the findings. More than 85% of the patients were complaining of dyspnea and cough. Obstructive pattern (56.6%) was main finding in spirometry followed by restrictive and normal patterns. HRCT revealed air trapping (65.09%) and mosaic parenchymal attenuation patterns (58.49%) as most common results. Established diagnoses mainly were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (54.71%), bronchiolitis obliterans (27.35%) and asthmatic bronchitis (8.49%). There were not any significant association between the clinical findings and results of PFT and HRCT imaging and also between PFT and HRCT findings (P-values were more than 0.05). Considering debilitating and progressive nature of the respiratory complications of SM exposure, attempts are needed for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
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