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Quantification of airway deposition of intact and fragmented pollens

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Although pollen is one of the most widespread agents that can cause allergy, its airway transport and deposition is far from being fully explored. The objective of this study was to characterize the airway deposition of pollens and to contribute to the debate related to the increasing number of asthma attacks registered after thunderstorms. For the quantification of the deposition of inhaled pollens in the airways computer simulations were performed. Our results demonstrated that smaller and fragmented pollens may penetrate into the thoracic airways and deposit there, supporting the theory that fragmented pollen particles are responsible for the increasing incidence of asthma attacks following thunderstorms. Pollen deposition results also suggest that children are the most exposed to the allergic effects of pollens. Finally, pollens between 0.5 and 20 μm deposit more efficiently in the lung of asthmatics than in the healthy lung, especially in the bronchial region.
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Keywords: Monte Carlo simulations; airway deposition of pollens; asthma modelling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: GlaxoSmithKline, Budapest 2: Hungarian Academy of Sciences,KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute, Budapest 3: Discipline of Physiology,University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu Mures, Targu Mures, Romania 4: Department of Materials Research and Physics, Division of Physics and Biophysics,University of Salzburg, Austria 5: Department of Laser Applications,Research Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Budapest 6: Medical School and Health Science Center,University of Debrecen, Hungary

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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