Distal esophagitis in patients with mustard-gas induced chronic cough

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Although confounded by some factors such as medications or surgical complications, the relationship between esophageal pathology and pulmonary disorders has been the subject of many studies. The present study sought to investigate the said relationship in patients inflicted by respiratory disorders induced by mustard gas (MG). A case group of patients complaining of respiratory complications and chronic coughs following MG exposure, and a control group of patients with chronic coughs but without a history of MG exposure were studied. All the case and control subjects had symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Chest high resolution tomography (HRCT) was performed to evaluate the existence of pulmonary disorders. Endoscopy and histological studies were carried out to determine the severity of esophagitis in both groups presenting with gastroesophageal reflux. Ninety male patients, who had met our criteria, along with 40 male control cases underwent the diagnostic procedures. The frequency of endoscopic esophagitis findings in the chemically exposed group was significantly higher than that in the control group (70.0%vs. 42.5%). A pathological evaluation revealed that the frequency of esophagitis in the cases was more than that in the controls (32.3%vs. 14.2%). Chest HRCT evaluation demonstrated that half the case group had more than 25% air trapping in expiratory films, mostly compatible with bronchiolitis obliterans (BO). In addition, they were suffering from asthma, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. Bronchiolitis obliterans, along with other lung disorders, can be considered as contributors in the pathogenesis of esophagitis in MG exposed patients.

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