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Mil Med. 1992 Sep;157(9):452-62.

Al Eskan disease: Desert Storm pneumonitis.

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  • 1Office of the Commander, 316th STA. HOSP., Riyadh Saudi Arabia.


The authors observed an acute desert-related disease when the mixture of the fine Saudi sand dust and pigeon droppings triggered a hyperergic lung condition. It was further aggravated by various kinds of organic pathogenic components contributing to an opportunistic infection of the lung. These all lead to the recognition of a new clinicopathological entity, Desert Storm pneumonitis or Al Eskan disease. For the first time, the Saudi sand dust's elemental composition was studied by ultrastructural and microanalytical means. The authors concluded that, contrary to previous beliefs, sand particles less than 1 microns (0.1 microns to 0.25 microns) in diameter are present in substantial quantities in the Saudi sand and are pathogenic, causing hyperergia. Pathogenesis of the sand dust, induced hyperergia, and its immunopathologic background are highlighted.

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