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Asthma and Rhinitis in Wooding Workers

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We present some cases of rhinitis and asthma in wooding workers exposed to hard or soft woods. The specific provocation test confirmed the diagnosis of rhinitis in three patients and of asthma in four. Rhinitis was caused by oak, beech, and pine, while asthma was caused by obeche, chestnut, acacia, and iroko. Occupational exposure to the specific wood, before onset of symptoms (symptom latency), was shorter for patients with asthma. All seven patients with respiratory symptoms were nonsmokers; three were atopies and four, all with asthma, had nonspecific bronchial hyperreactivity. Twenty-four hours after the test, PD20FEV1 had decreased in two cases with rhinitis and two with asthma, although the data did not reach statistical significance (Wilcoxon matched-pairs test: NS). After the SBPT, blood eosinophils increased in two cases with rhinitis and three with asthma, and the data were at the limit of statistical significance (P = 0.046). The study confirms that not only hard essences, but also soft woods can cause respiratory symptoms, although the pathogenetic mechanisms are still unclear. A specific provocation test is still the best and sometimes only means of diagnosing wood asthma; standardized protocols with repeated measurements of nonspecific airway responsiveness and of eosinophils in the blood may be helpful for a better understanding of the pathogenetic mechanism and predisposing factors.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1996-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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