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Eur Respir J. 1996 Feb;9(2):211-6.

Absence of relationship between degree of nonspecific and specific bronchial responsiveness in occupational asthma due to platinum salts.

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  • 1Dept of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Bochum, Germany.


There is evidence that bronchial responsiveness to allergen is quantitatively correlated with bronchial responsiveness to nonspecific stimuli in subjects with allergic asthma. This association has been questioned in occupational asthma due to low molecular weight substances. It was the aim of this study to assess the quantitative association of bronchial responsiveness to methacholine (MCh) and platinum salts (Pt), in the form of hexachloroplatinic acid, in workers with occupational asthma due to platinum salts. Fifty seven subjects with exposure to Pt, work-related asthma, and a positive bronchial challenge with Pt, underwent skin prick tests with Pt and bronchial challenge with MCh. Using the provocation concentration causing a > or = 50% fall in specific airway conductance (PC50sGaw(Pt)) as dependent variable, anamnestic data (period from first symptoms to removal, period between removal from exposure and diagnosis, and smoking), season of the investigation, skin prick tests with environmental allergens, total immunoglobulin E (IgE), skin reactivity to Pt (Pt concentration causing a 2 mm wheal), and PC50sGaw(MCh) were included as independent variables for regression analysis. Fifty two subjects (91%) showed a PC50sGaw(MCh) < 8 mg.mL-1 (geometric mean for all subjects 1.6 mg.mL-1). Responsiveness to Pt varied widely between subjects (geometric mean of PC50sGaw 9 x 10-5 mol.L-1, range 2 x 10-7 to 10-2 mol.L-1). There was no univariate correlation between bronchial responsiveness to MCh and Pt, but there was a correlation between skin reactivity to Pt and PC50sGaw(Pt) (r = 0.6). This association could not be improved by considering PC50sGaw(MCh), the period from first symptoms to removal, or the period between removal from exposure and diagnosis. The parameters that showed the highest (negative) associations with PC50sGaw(Pt) were skin reactivity to Pt and the period between removal from exposure and diagnosis (r = 0.65). We conclude that there is a moderate association between bronchial responsiveness to platinum salts and skin reactivity to platinum salts. However, there is no association between methacholine responsiveness and bronchial responsiveness to allergen in occupational asthma due to platinum salts.

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