Mineral Particles in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid (BALF): An Attempt at Designing a Quantitative Model


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Abstract

The author examined by morphology, chemical composition, and crystalline structure, approximately 2 500 mineral particles from bronchoalveolar lavage fluids obtained from 25 residents of Rome. In addition, the author obtained the same structural data for approximately 3 000 inhalable particles present in the atmosphere in Rome. The author constructed a model of the concentration and granulometry of the different types of mineral particles in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, by estimating the clearance times of the different particle classes. The author based the model on the following: (a) data relative to the inhalable particulate to which involved subjects were exposed, (b) updated knowledge about the processes of deposition and retention of the mineral particulate in the human respiratory tract, and (c) the hypothesis that the mineral particle pattern in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid reflects the pattern of particulate in lung parenchyma. Finally, the author compared the model with the particulate pattern observed in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples. Despite some drastic approximations, the model satisfactorily fits the data obtained from the experimental research on mineral particulate in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.

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